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Standoff at IU Memorial Union ends, suspect in custody

Memorial Union barricade

Police say a suspect has barricaded himself inside a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union. (Brock Turner)

Indiana University police announced just before 2 a.m. that an hours-long standoff at the Indiana Memorial Union ended without injury and with one person in custody. Police were still investigating into the early morning hours at the Union building. That’s where they say a man barricaded himself inside a hotel room late last night, leading to the standoff.

University officials identified the arrested man as Cecil L. Gilbert. No weapons were discovered in the room, despite earlier reports the man was armed.

Officials say the incident began with a call to IU police about a person making threats from a room on the first floor of the Biddle Hotel, which is inside the IMU. They said the room was not registered to a guest and that the man refused to come out.

Police soon surrounded the building and warned the public to stay away. They also evacuated guests from the hotel as the standoff continued.

Inside, an IU spokesperson said police secured the first floor hallway and called critical incident response officers and negotiators to the scene. The official said the police eventually resorted to unspecified “non-lethal techniques” to gain entry.

A WFIU reporter heard alarms and smelled tear gas shortly after the arrest. Police officers were also coughing as they departed the building.

Live Updates

2:15 am final update:

This situation has been resolved. Tear gas can be smelled around the hotel and there are fire alarms going off on multiple guest floors. Police officers in tactical gear were coughing as they put gear away.

A tweet from IUPD indicates the situation ended without injury and the subject is now in police custody. Police remain on the scene to complete the investigation.

This story will be updated.

1:30 am update:

Bloomington PD’s BearCat is on the scene along with other tactical teams. There’s still a large police presence here.

The IMU is on the corner of Indiana Ave and 7th Street in Bloomington. The website says it's one of the largest in the world at 500,000 sq foot with 189 rooms.
The IMU is on the corner of Indiana Ave and 7th Street in Bloomington. The website says it's one of the largest in the world (500,000 sq foot) with 189 rooms.

11:30 pm update:

An IU Spokesperson says police evacuated staff at the IMU and guests at the hotel. They all were just taken out of the building and allowed to leave. There’s still no word on whether other guests are in the room.

10:45 pm update:

The IU Police Department says the suspect that has barricaded himself in the Indiana Memorial Union is “contained in an IMU hotel room.” 

IU sent out the first emergency alert about the situation just after 9 o’clock tonight.

Police are negotiating with the suspect. It is unknown if anyone else is with the suspect.

There are no injuries at this time.

10:30 pm update:

There’s a large police presence outside the Indiana University Memorial Union.

According to a university spokesperson a man has barricaded himself inside a room at the Biddle Hotel in the Union building.

Police are on the scene negotiating with the suspect.

10:05 pm update:

An IU spokesperson says people need to continue to avoid the area around Memorial Union.

A person has barricaded himself in the IMU hotel. It isn't known if there is anyone else with the man. 

There are no injuries at this time.

9:55 pm update:

Indiana University spokesperson Chuck Carney says a suspect called IUPD Monday night and was not making sense during the call.

According to Carney, the suspect stated that he was at the Indiana Memorial Union Hotel.

Officers arrived and located the male barricaded in a hotel room. Officers are currently negotiating with him to get him out of the room.

Original post:

IU sent out an alert Monday night warning of a 'dangerous situation' at the IU Memorial Union.

The university sent out a first notice at 9:04 p.m., then a second notice that situation was continuing at 9:28 p.m.

The public is warned to stay away from the area and follow instructions from IU officials and local authorities.


Police scanner traffic indicated a suspect had barricaded his/herself in a room and had a gun.

We have a team of reporters at the scene waiting in a media staging area for updates.

This post will be updated.


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