The University of Wisconsin remained on high alert late Tuesday night as police continued to search for an armed man on campus who said he wished to commit suicide or be killed by police. Both Madison and UW police forces responded to a critical situation near the UW Hospital Tuesday where Jesse A. Miller, 19 and considered a “suicidal man,” allegedly said he was atop a nearby parking structure. UW officials said late Tuesday that Miller is considered a danger to himself but not to others, and students should attend their normal classes Wednesday. Heightened security will still be present at UW Hospital and Clinics and in the west campus area throughout the day today. UW Provost Patrick Farrell issued a statement late Tuesday night praising the efforts of response units. “This has been an unusual and troubling situation, but we have confidence that UW police and other police agencies are handling this situation well,” Farrell said in the statement. “I want to thank students, faculty and staff for heeding campus safety alerts and spreading important information this evening.” UW spokesperson John Lucas said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald Tuesday night that he remains confident the campus will be safe and soon return to normal. "We believe the person of interest is a danger to himself and has made a cry for help through his alleged actions Tuesday," Lucas said in the e-mail. "We strongly feel campus is safe for normal work and classes on Wednesday." After scrambling dozens of officers to the scene and locking down the University Hospital Tuesday evening, UWPD assistant chief Dale Burke said the department began an extensive building by building search to locate Miller, who first called the Dane County Crisis Line around 4:40 p.m. "We were informed this young man was suicidal, that he possessed a weapon and he wanted to be killed by a police officer," Burke said. Miller, who Burke said has no affiliation with UW, went missing from a Dane County work release program Sept. 8. Miller was doing time for armed robbery in 2006 when he went missing. UW officials alerted all students with a mass e-mail containing the physical description of Miller, followed later by another warning recommending all students remain indoors and avoid campus buildings if possible. University Hospital was put on lockdown while officers swept the building for Miller and was completely reopened by 6:45 p.m. Traffic was rerouted around the hospital and visitation was closed during most of the evening with only emergency room services remaining open. Burke said UWPD is currently investigating two other suspicious calls that appear to have also been placed by Miller. Around 5 p.m., 911 officials fielded a call from a man who said he heard shots fired and saw people fleeing the parking structure near the corner of University and Highland aAvenues. Since several officers were near that area at the time, the report was invalidated. Burke said around 5:30 p.m., another 911 call was fielded from a man who claimed to be a private security guard who received a bomb threat for UW Hospital. "Our subsequent investigation revealed that there was no employee working for that company by that name," Burke said. "Once again we believe the suspect, Mr. Miller, initiated that false report of the bomb threat." All classes Tuesday evening were canceled west of the Veterinary Medicine building, in addition to the women's soccer match at the McClimon sports facility . According to Wisconsin court records, Miller's last residence was in Sun Prairie, but since no one has actually seen Miller on campus, Burke said he could be anywhere. "We don't know if he was ever at the hospital when he placed the call," Burke said. "He could have been placing those calls from outside of Madison, for all we know." As of last night, Burke said authorities has not been successful in tracing the location of the phone calls, but that they will continue to investigate. Until Madison police can make some sort of contact with the suspect, Burke said based on the young man's mental health history, he is a "serious concern." "We have a number of leads we're looking into, those are all being followed up," Burke said. "I can assure all members of the community all efforts are being exhausted towards finding him."
‘Suicidal man’ causes campus scare; UW Hospital locks down
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