Second incident creates more tension on URI campus

Tensions remain high at the University of Rhode Island, where police are searching for a man who made a “worrying” phone call on Friday, a day after the South Kingstown campus was locked down for several hours following reports of an active gunman, school officials said.

The university released this photo of the man who made the ‘worrying’ call at the library.

University police responded to the school’s library Friday night after two students reported overhearing a suspicious conversation, said Major Stephen Baker, of the university’s police. At this time, there is no evidence that the man who made the call is connected to Thursday’s incident, when police swarmed the campus looking for a man who witnesses said knocked on a classroom door and said he had a gun, Baker said.

“The phone conversation [on Friday] did not contain a specific threat but did concern the two students,” he said.

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URI officials released a photo, asking for the public’s help in identifying the person from the library incident.

Police described the man as white, with a buzz haircut, clean-shaven, about 6 feet tall and 220 pounds with a muscular build. Police said he had a receding hairline and appeared to be between 27 and 33 years old.. They asked anyone with information to call them at 401-874-2121.

Baker said authorities have not identified the suspect from Thursday’s gunman incident. After the campus was taken out of lockdown mode Thursday, State Police said they found no evidence that there was ever an active shooter or a gun on the campus.

But State Police returned to the South Kingston campus today to question witnesses in an attempt to identify the man who sparked Thursday’s panic.

“Obviously, because of last week’s incident there’s heightened concern,” university spokeswoman Linda Acciardo said.