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Beloit College given all-clear after man taken into custody

Published On: Feb 21 2013 01:26:23 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 11:02:49 AM CST

Apartment near the Beloit College campus where police are looking for a man with a gun

BELOIT, Wis. -

The Beloit College campus was locked down as Beloit police dealt with a situation Thursday involving a man who they believed was armed.

Beloit police responded about 12:25 p.m. to a disturbance at a home in the 1800 block of Park Avenue. While in route, officers learned that the suspect had threatened the caller with a handgun and fled in his vehicle, according to a Beloit Police Department news release.

Responding officers observed the suspect vehicle as it pulled into a secure parking garage of an apartment building in the 900 block of Park Avenue, which backs up to the Beloit College campus.

Police said they notified Beloit College's security staff, and, as a safety measure, Beloit College placed its campus into a lockdown during the entire incident.

Beloit College alerted everyone on campus to stay where they were, lock their doors and stay away from windows.

"My teacher locked all the doors and made sure the blinds were down on our windows," said Beloit College freshman Aidan Whinnery.

Beloit police learned the suspect lived in an apartment on the third floor of the building, and officers secured the building and began negotiations to take the suspect into custody.

About 1:50 p.m., police made voice contact with the suspect. Shortly after 3 p.m., the suspect and a female acquaintance voluntarily left the apartment and were taken into custody without incident, Beloit police said.

During the initial search of the apartment, police found another woman hiding and she also was taken into custody, according to the news release.

Police said a more comprehensive search of the apartment didn't reveal a handgun, but suspected drugs and paraphernalia were found.

Police said the suspect denies having or threatening anyone with a gun.

Beloit police said they arrested Jose R. Rodriquez, 51, of Beloit, on suspicion of disorderly conduct while armed and resisting arrest.

Diamond C. Hodges, 20, of Beloit, was arrested on three warrants for traffic offenses, police said.

Dawn M. Ford, 44, of Beloit, was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant, according to police.

Beloit College ended the lockdown once the suspect was taken into custody.

Students said they were scared but remained calm as they realized the threat was actually off campus. Students and staff praised the college for keeping them informed of what could have been a dangerous situation.

"It was a great move (by the college). Obviously there have been a lot of shootings recently. It was a great move and it put us all in safety," Whinnery said.

Police said additional charges are possible pending the investigation of the suspected narcotics.

No shots were fired and no one was injured throughout Thursday's incident, police said.

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