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Officials: Gun found on University of Montana campus after alleged break-in

Elrod Residential Hall
Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 12:00:23-04

MISSOULA — An investigation is underway on the University of Montana campus after a break-in at a residential hall and the discovery of a gun, although police cannot confirm if the two incidents are connected.

UM Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz confirmed with MTN News that the incident happened on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, at approximately 8 a.m. at the Elrod Residential Hall.

Investigators believe a person who appeared to be a Native American man in his early 20s entered through a window on the first floor of the residential hall.

He was confronted by a school employee and that's when the man verbally threatened the employee, according to Kuntz. He later ran away after the school worker called the police.

Investigators searched the area and nearby neighborhoods for the man. While searching, officers found an unloaded gun near the residential hall.

The gun was found in the grass of the Oval, about a few hundred yards away from the Elrod Hall.

Due to the ongoing investigation, school officials cannot confirm if there's a connection between the suspect and the gun at this time.

Kuntz confirmed with MTN News that there are two people of interest involved.

One is described as a young Native American man who was wearing blue jeans, a black hoodie, and an ankle monitor. The other person's description has not been released.

Missoula County prosecutors and the UMPD are still deciding whether or not charges will be filed in connection with the incident, according to Kuntz.

Although the break-in is a part of an active investigation, Kuntz said this was a contained event and there is no threat to the students or the surrounding community.