On Monday evening around 6:45 p.m., five males invaded the home of Springfield College students on King Street. According to a student with direct knowledge of the incident (though not an eyewitness), four of the men were armed and wore bandanas, hoods, and rubber gloves. One was unmasked. When the intruders entered the house, they locked the door and two of them drew guns at a student who was sitting on the couch. While pointing the weapons, the gunmen asked the student where the money was. The student responded, “We are just college students. We do not have any money.” The student was then struck in the head with an open hand. The gunmen went on to search every room in the house leaving drawers torn out of dressers and mattresses flipped. The intruders stole some property and money. When the gunmen vacated the home, the students went to a neighboring house where they called the Springfield College Public Safety.
Public Safety responded to the call first, and Springfield City Police responded soon after. Campus Police Chief, Mike Sullivan was notified as quickly as possible. He sent out an emergency alert to all Springfield College students and faculty. The alert gave a description of what transpired and a few safety tips for students on campus to follow
Sullivan added staff for the remainder of that night. More officers surveyed the campus and surrounding neighborhoods and more shuttle drivers were provided for student transportation across campus. Public Safety will be overstaffed for the next few weeks to ensure maximum safety for all students.
Later that night, Sullivan, Dr. Shannon Finning (vice president of student affairs), and Dr. Brian Krylowicz (director of counseling center) went to the residence and spoke to the students who were impacted by the incident. The college offered relocation for the evening if the residents felt uncomfortable.
“The students were victimized in a horrific way. It does not get much scarier so our main focus was to make sure the students were going to be all right and be able to start functioning normally again,” said Sullivan.
The invasion is still under heavy investigation and as of around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the students had not received any further information. However according to Sullivan, this was an isolated incident. The situation that took place on King Street was the only situation reported of this type. Both the Springfield City Police and Springfield Public Safety are actively investigating various vehicle descriptions and obtaining as much information as possible to find the suspects.