After a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Mich., that left six people dead, Western Michigan University admitted failures in notifying those on campus about the potential danger and said it is looking at ways to improve its emergency alert procedures.
"Clearly, we failed last night to provide adequate information and updates," University president John M. Dunn said Sunday in a statement to the campus community.
Dunn's statement came after Jason Brian Dalton, 45, allegedly shot eight people—six fatally—over eight hours Saturday in Kalamazoo. He has been charged with six counts of murder and other charges, CNN reports.
While the suspect was still at large Saturday, many students took out their frustrations on social media about not receiving warnings from Western Michigan, mlive.com reported.
In Dunn's statement, he explained why the university did not issue an emergency alert Saturday night about the search for a suspect.
"Saturday's events occurred in three different county communities over a period of hours," Dunn said. "It was 11:30 p.m. before our public safety officials were told the shootings were linked. Our public safety chief was on his way to an interagency briefing when the suspect was taken into custody at 12:40 a.m."
Even though two of the three shootings took place miles from the Western Michigan campus, and it was not clear for several hours that the shooting were connected, Dunn admitted: "[W]e need to make adjustments in our own procedures to respond to extraordinary circumstances. Last night's incident clearly was one."
The president said school officials are looking at the possibility of revising its alert procedures to cover a "broader array of safety issues" and more effective ways of using social media.
"We look forward to working with our student leaders, faculty and the University community to be much more responsive to the need for information and communication," Dunn said.