published Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Man charged with gun crimes after Connecticut college lockdown

University of New Haven student William Dong, 22, of Fairfield, Conn., with assistant public defender Kevin Williams, right, appears during his arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Superior Court in Milford, Conn.
University of New Haven student William Dong, 22, of Fairfield, Conn., with assistant public defender Kevin Williams, right, appears during his arraignment Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Superior Court in Milford, Conn.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Newspaper clippings about mass shootings were found at the home of a Connecticut college student arrested on campus while allegedly carrying two handguns with an assault rifle left in his car, police said Wednesday.

No shots were fired and no one was injured in Tuesday's scare at the University of New Haven, which led to a lockdown of more than four hours at the West Haven school.

William Dong, 22, was charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon, illegal transport of an assault weapon, breach of peace and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, West Haven police announced. Authorities say Dong has permits for the handguns.

He was detained on $500,000 bail and faced arraignment Wednesday in Milford Superior Court. It wasn't clear whether he has a lawyer.

A customer of a grocery store near the university called 911 shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday to report a man leaving his car with a gun and walking toward campus, police said. Everyone on campus was advised to get inside. Officers confronted Dong within minutes near a dormitory and arrested him, said Sgt. David Tammaro, a spokesman for West Haven police.

Tammaro said it wasn't clear why Dong brought the handguns on campus.

Authorities found an assault rifle in Dong's car parked near the campus and discovered the newspaper clippings and a large amount of ammunition at Dong's home in Fairfield, Tammaro said.

The lockdown was lifted at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after police searched the campus. Evening classes were canceled. Several nearby public schools also issued shelter-in-place orders as a precaution.

About 6,400 students attend the school, and the majority of its 4,600 undergraduates live in university housing.

UNH President Steven Kaplan said campus activities returned to normal Wednesday and thanked police for their work.

"Yesterday's incident involving an armed student on campus reminded us that such threats are very real and that careful preparation is key to reacting swiftly and effectively," Kaplan said in a statement. "We are all grateful that the situation was diffused quickly and that no one was injured."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy planned to commend first responders Wednesday evening on campus.

The scare was the third at a Connecticut university in the past several weeks.

Last week, Yale University in neighboring New Haven was locked down for six hours after a man called police and said somebody was coming to shoot up the campus. Police have said that appeared to be a hoax.

Central Connecticut State University was in lockdown for hours Nov. 4 after reports by witnesses of a masked man carrying a gun or sword. Police arrested a student, David Kyem, who said he had been wearing a ninja-like Halloween costume and meant no harm. He faces charges including breach of peace.

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