Police: OSU student set fire in dorm room, jumped out window before SWAT could get in
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A student in crisis set fire to his dorm room and jumped out a 5th floor window Tuesday as a SWAT team forced entry to his room.
A tree helped break the 25-year-old Oregon State University student's fall. He is stable at a local hospital and being evaluated by mental health professionals, officials said.
Oregon State Police released the man's name in a report Wednesday. NBC 16 has opted to withhold the man's name at this time, since he has not been charged with a crime.
The scenario played out over the course of nearly 10 hours Tuesday, according to a timeline compiled by Oregon State Police. The state police serve as the campus police at Oregon State in Corvallis.
Troopers responded to Hawley Hall around 12:30 p.m. to check on the student after he contacted Corvallis Police. The student had told police "he was in fear for his life, and requested help."
Oregon State evacuated the 5th floor of the residence hall as a precaution.
At 2:45 p.m., state troopers tried to contact the student, but he didn't answer the door.
"Eventually, communication began with him through the door with the assistance of the Benton County Mental Health Crisis Team," state police said.
At 4 p.m., the student set off the fire alarm sprinkler system in the dorm. The other residents of Hawley Hall evacuated. The sprinkler system was turned off after authorities determined there wasn't a fire.
At 4:11 p.m., state police SWAT negotiators arrived and began talking with the student by phone and through the door.
These conversations went on for 6 hours.
Meanwhile, a state police SWAT team assembled at the scene.
The university sent the first emergency notification to the campus community at 6:50 p.m., informing them of the police presence and evacuation, and asking the public to avoid the area.
OSU Alert: Oregon State Police troopers and other OSU public safety personnel, Tuesday afternoon, April 24, have responded to an ongoing matter involving the welfare of an Oregon State University student resident of Hawley Hall, who has experienced a crisis and remains in his room. Specialized OSP troopers have arrived on OSU's Corvallis campus to provide for crisis support and public safety. At this time, law enforcement does not believe there is a safety risk to the general campus community. As a precautionary measure, residents of the fifth floor of Hawley Hall will remain evacuated pending further notice. OSU's Department of Public Safety asks that OSU community members and the general public stay out of the area, bordering Southwest Jefferson Way, Southwest Weatherford Place, Southwest Intramural Lane and Southwest Sackett Place. Further updates will be provided as information is available.
Authorities wanted to hold off on using the SWAT team and continue talking to the student, unless something happened that warranted a rapid response.
That came at 10:12 p.m.
"At this point the student began setting a fire inside his room," state police said in a report. "SWAT began attempting to enter the room but the door was heavily barricaded. Before entry was made, the student jumped out the window of the dorm room and landed in the grass outside the residence hall."
Medics took the student to the hospital for treatment.
Oregon State sent out a second emergency notification at 11:13 p.m.
OSU Alert: The situation involving the welfare of an Oregon State University Corvallis student in Hawley Hall on Tuesday, April 24, has been resolved according to the Oregon State Police and the OSU Department of Public Safety. The student has been transported for medical attention. Residents of the fifth floor of Hawley Hall will remain evacuated pending further notice from University Housing and Dining Services. OSU’s Department of Public Safety continues to request that OSU community members and the general public stay out of the area bordering Southwest Jefferson Way, Southwest Weatherford Place, Southwest Intramural Lane and Southwest Sackett Place until further notice.
On Wednesday, fire restoration crews were at work dealing with water damage from the sprinklers and any fire or smoke damage inside Hawley Hall.
Students and officials spoke about the incident for a story set to air #LiveOnKMTR.