Kirkland police arrested a suspect on the Northwest University campus after he entered a women’s restroom and became combative when campus security confronted him.
NU officials described the suspect as a “transient male” who behaved strangely and interacted oddly with students in Hurt Library before entering the women’s restroom on Sept. 25. The 6 feet, 2 inch-tall suspect was wearing a grey hoodie and drew a knife on two security guards when they confronted him upon exiting the restroom.
The two NU security guards, officers Christian Klumper and Craig Cranfield, were injured by the attacker, but detained the suspect until police arrived with help from library director Adam Epp and student Caleb Bates.
Police promptly arrested the suspect and the two security officers were treated for minor injuries.
“We are grateful to God that our people avoided serious injury,” said NU President Joseph Castleberry in a letter to the community. “We are proud of the heroic actions of our people who acted promptly to subdue the intruder, and we will honor them publicly soon.
Castleberry added that NU is committed to the safety of every member of the community and that Epp credited the school’s regular “ALICE” training in prompting him to respond.
ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. ALICE is a nation-wide training institute that works with schools, businesses and other organizations to help individuals proactively respond to an aggressive intruder or active shooter. The training method contrasts a “lockdown only” method by providing ways for individuals to adapt to the safest response in an emergency situation.
Castleberry encouraged community members to participate in training opportunities on campus.
“We encourage everyone to take advantage of training opportunities in order to be ready should this kind of incident occur in the future,” he said in the letter. “Any time you see a suspicious person or activity on campus, please call security at 425-864-1552 so that trained officers may assess the situation. Never be afraid or nervous about calling.”
NU offered counselor services the following day at its wellness center for anyone who may have experienced trauma during the violent encounter. Students should contact the school’s residence life personnel for immediate counseling needs.
“All of us should take special time to pray this evening for those who may be in distress and also to offer thanks to God for our safety,” Castleberry concluded in his letter.
The arrest records were not released as of the Reporter’s Monday deadline. Locals can look for updates on the investigation and charges at www.kirklandreporter.com.