45° F

Popping balloons bring police response to campus

Published On: May 10 2013 11:29:37 AM CDT   Updated On: May 10 2013 11:32:03 AM CDT file photo


A report of gunshots on the campus of a La Crosse technical college drew an immediate response from heavily armed police officers who found the sound was nothing more than balloons popping during a class project.

Officers armed with assault rifles took up defensive positions around the Coleman Center at Western Technical College Thursday after a 911 call was received about shots fired in the building. Nervous students were evacuated from nearby buildings.

Police stormed inside with weapons drawn and searched room by room. Then officers found the class with the balloons and learned it was a false alarm.

The La Crosse Tribune said the incident reflects a heightened awareness of danger that may be the new normal on college campuses. Police and college officials say the response was appropriate given the nature of the 911 call.

  • pumpkin, halloween


    Best & worst cities for Halloween

    When it comes to Halloween, some cities know how to do it up more than others. Find out which cities promise a frighteningly good time.

  • World Series Game 1 Progressive Field wide shot

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    2016 World Series: Cubs even things up

    The 2016 World Series started Oct. 25, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, with the National League champion Chicago Cubs and the American League champion Cleveland Indians.

  • PHOTOS: Vilas Zoo announces new holiday lights exhibit

    The Henry Vilas Zoo will light up nights this holiday season with its new Zoo Lights event. The Zoo Lights exhibit will offer zoo-goers a stroll down Candy Cane Lane with festive lights and sounds. Zoo organizers announced the Zoo Light exhibit Wednesday and said thousands of lights will transform the zoo into a winter wonderland Nov. 25-Jan. 1.

    Admission is $7 and Zoo Lights will run Thursdays through Sundays beginning at 5:30 p.m.