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Kent State officials review effectiveness of emergency notification system
Students say they were updated during lockdown on Wednesday night, with minor hiccups

Kabir Bhatia
Nicole Jelinek, Sam Varner, Megan Carrasco, Raymond Allen (left to right) say they were in public areas of campus and got updates through PA systems, by text, e-mail and on Twitter
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
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Kent State University officials say the school’s crisis plan worked well during last night’s lockdown after a shot was fired on campus. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Kent State officials review effectiveness of emergency notification system

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Local and campus police locked down campus while searching for Quavaugntay Tyler, a 24-year-old freshman from Cleveland. Police say he shot himself in the hand during a dispute with two women he was in relationships with.

Kent State tweeted and sent texts and e-mails during the situation. Sophomore Raymond Allan was in a dorm and says the school’s emergency notification system worked excellently, even if social media buzz was unhelpful.

“I got text messages from friends asking, ‘Are you safe? Did you get injured?’ [I] looked on Twitter and there was a bunch of people saying false things. People really made it worse than it had to be, I feel.”

Dorms also had public address systems providing updates, and there were some reports that loudspeakers malfunctioned and produced static or garbled audio. Campus police Chief John Peach says those systems had been tested just six weeks ago.

“In most of the buildings, they heard it very clearly. We continually do testing on the speakers and monitors on a more-than-a-semester basis. But the system is so wide [and] complex, that it needs constant testing.”

No one else was hurt in the shooting, and the motive is not clear. Police say Quavaugntay Tyler was the subject of a campus theft investigation and was on probation from a separate theft case in Brimfield. He told police he had a gun because he'd been the victim of an armed robbery.
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