October 21’ 2021
On October 18, panic ensued on the Alma College campus as the administration rushed to tell students to not leave the buildings they were in and issued a campus wide alert of a police chase that had ended right outside of the campus chapel. As students and professors peered out of the windows of their classrooms, a convoy of police cars with blaring sirens could be seen on Superior Street.
“This is the Alma College Campus Alert System. THIS IS NOT A TEST. The area along Superior Street from Wright Avenue to Philadelphia Street will be considered an active crime scene by state police until further notice. The suspect is in custody and the area is safe. There is NOT an active shooter. But please avoid this area until further notice”, said the campus wide alert.
Initial confusion and panic were caused by rumors that someone from the Alma College campus was involved since the incident seemed to have transpired very close to campus premises. As videos of the incident, showing an armed man in a confrontation with multiple armed police officers circulated among the student body, students waited for more details to determine whether or not moving around campus was safe.
Later in the day, the campus administration as well as the Michigan State Police came forward to clear out the details of the incident. The chase involved a 28-year-old armed man, by the name of Tyler Monero, with no connection to the college. As Alma Police were leaving their headquarters located towards the end of Superior Street, the suspect was waiting for them outside, next to his car, with a loaded weapon. Upon witnessing an officer leave, the suspect began to fire on them leading the officer to retaliate with gunshots from his end. The suspect eventually got into his car and a chase ensued with multiple cop cars following him, ultimately ending outside the campus chapel at around 11:30am.
During the chase, Monero was flailing his gun inside his car while also randomly shooting at people along the street, leading one pedestrian to call 9-1-1 and say, “A man just shot my truck.” More gunshots were fired outside campus premises leading the perpetrator to be injured. However, no police officers were injured in the confrontation. The injured suspect was eventually taken to be treated for his gunshot wound before being sent to the Gratiot County Jail where he will be held until further investigation. For the remainder of the day, the officers closed off the roads, starting from Wright Avenue all the way to Philadelphia Street including Superior Street on which multiple campus buildings are located.
Since then, the college administration as well as multiple professors have reiterated to the student body that mental health services and safe spaces are available all throughout campus in the event that the incident was troubling to some students and they need assistance in dealing with it.
An issue like this brings up an ever-present debate within American political discourse- that of gun control for the sake of a safe society versus the right to bear arms for the sake of self-defense. Much like the American populous, the campus body remains divided on the issue but
despite which side of the political spectrum one falls on, an incident like this is capable of destabilizing a community and creating concerns for student safety on campus.