The Arkansas State University campus looked just like any other would during exam week, but that surely was not the case Thursday afternoon as terrified students fled from a possible active shooter.
"It's scary," said one student.
That's really all the students of Arkansas State University could muster after being in lock down for hours while police rid the campus of what they called an active shooter situation.
Police said that around 1:30 Thursday afternoon, they got a call that a man was doing donuts in the front lawn of the union. That's when students began to call 911. University police responded first, followed by Jonesboro police and then a SWAT team. Hanna Daily was working inside the union during the standoff.
"I kind of noticed that people were running out of the union. It was chaotic, but not to a panicky point yet. People just didn't know what was going on yet. So, I stuck my head out the door, and a man with a megaphone started yelling for us to go out the West side of the union, and that we all needed to leave," said Hannah Daily, ASU junior.
Negotiators were trying to subdue 47-year-old Jonesboro resident, Brad Bartelt.
"When we arrived, he was threatening himself. So, obviously he was despondent over something, and he was holding a shot gun under his chin," said Chief Rick Elliot with Jonesboro PD.
Along with the shot gun, Bartelt also brought gas cans and a 100 pound propane tank. As officers tried to negotiate with the suspect, he sloshed gasoline on to his truck.
"I think it's just crazy and scary that he could drive up on our lawn and make a scene," said Reagan Allgood, ASU student.
Bartelt eventually surrendered to police and was booked in the Craighead County Jail on assault charges. ASU remained on lock down while police swept the campus. Students were given the all-clear around 4:30 p.m.
"As awful as the situation is. They handled it the best that they could."
Exams will resume on Friday, and winter commencement will be held on Saturday.