On Tuesday, Feb. 9, at approximately 6:45 p.m., students and staff within room 414 of the Science and Health building reported seeing an individual dressed in tactical gear standing outside a window. The individual appeared to be holding an object with a green laser attached, according to an email sent by instructional laboratory coordinator, Malia Davis. NAUPD said it was unclear whether the laser was handheld or attached to something else.
“The person was seen by the TA in the lab when the green laser caused a glint in the glass of one of the fume hoods,” Davis said.
NAUPD said they sent several officers to the area within minutes of receiving the call. The officers searched the area and came across only one person, a male, who was on a motorcycle and wearing black motorcycle gear at the time. This individual was on the pedway, leaving from the direction of the Science and Health building. The motorcycle gear and jacket could have been mistaken for a tactical vest, James Sample, director of the School of Earth and Sustainability, said in an email to students and faculty.
It remains unclear if the individual on the motorcycle was the same individual that pointed a laser into the building, but NAUPD determined he did not seem to have any weapons on him at the time they spoke to him.
As of Tuesday, NAUPD has increased patrols in the area surrounding the Science and Health building, including building walkthroughs. The building has also put new safety and lockup procedures into place for late night laboratory classes, Davis’ email stated.
“The building will be locking at 6:10 p.m. every night to allow the last set of lab students in at 6:00 p.m.,” Davis said. “Night TA’s will be locking the labs once class has begun.”
Davis, Sample and NAUPD advised the NAU community to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially late at night. NAUPD also offers a free service that escorts students and staff to their vehicles after dark. This service can be requested by calling (928) 523 - 3611 and NAUPD will send an officer or student volunteer as an escort.
As of Feb. 16, NAUPD has provided an update regarding the investigation. NAUPD Officer Tanner Caron said it was confirmed that there was a student worker, whose job was disinfecting door handles, going through the Science and Health Building on the aforementioned night. This student worker was said to have been wearing "a backpack-style disinfectant sprayer with a green light that emitted from it."
Caron said though it is impossible to say if this was definitely the individual seen by students and staff that night, NAUPD is extremely confident that is the case. NAUPD also said they feel comfortable saying there is currently no palpable threat to the NAU community.