On Wednesday, March 22, at 9:15 pm, the Monmouth University Police Department received a call with a report of a person with a possible weapon on the Monmouth University campus in the area of Magill Commons. Upon investigation, additional reports of shots fired were unfounded.
According to Monmouth University officials, police were dispatched to the area, and the campus was immediately alerted to shelter in place. Multiple law enforcement agencies were called in to assist in searching and securing the campus, including the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Long Branch, Ocean Township, and West Long Branch police departments.
Detectives were able to utilize video footage and other technology based on the description provided and identified a person of interest, a currently enrolled student. Based on interviews with that person, law enforcement personnel were able to determine that the person was in possession of a curling iron that was mistaken for a weapon. Based on this update to the investigation, the University lifted the shelter-in-place order at 1:40 am on March 23.
Dr. Patrick Leahy, Monmouth University president, expressed in a letter released on Facebook, “All of us are thankful that this situation was resolved successfully and without incident, and we appreciate the support and cooperation we received from our students and staff who adhered to the shelter-in-place restriction. On behalf of the University, I would like to express my appreciation for the efforts of the responding law enforcement agencies who assisted in our investigation.”
In acknowledgment of the impact of this situation on the community, the University will have a delayed opening for offices at noon on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Classes with start times at-or-after 12 noon will meet as scheduled.”