Upon investigating a reported burglary near the CC Inn on December 26, officers engaged in what became a pullover of the suspects’ car, an ensuing foot chase, and an alleged shot fired—leading to a charge of attempted murder, police said. All this occurred within four blocks of campus.
When homeowner Scott Roberts, who resides at the intersection where the chase initiated, was asked about the recent shooting, he replied, “Which shooting? There’s been so many.”
The December 26 shooting is one of several that have recently occurred within relatively close proximity to campus. Despite the proximity, Campus Safety did not initiate the emergency notification system.
In regards to Campus Safety’s response protocol, Director of Campus Safety Pat Cunningham said, “The first thing we do is gather information. Let’s get an officer to the scene, let’s get a hold of Jason, and let’s figure out what’s going on.”
At 6:20 p.m., officers were dispatched to 815 N. Nevada Ave., a past residence of CC students, in response to reports of a burglary in progress.
“The caller shared that there was a ‘No Trespassing’ sign on the home and that two suspects drove up behind the [residence] and were looking through the back windows with a flashlight,” said police spokeswoman Barbara Miller in a news release. “The caller continued to provide updates, stating that the suspects entered the home and [then] were getting into a vehicle and leaving.”
When police arrived they initiated a traffic stop on the two suspects. Ryan Medlock, 34, was immediately detained while the man he was with, William Dandrea, 32, fled south on foot, according to police.
During the ensuing foot pursuit, police said Dandrea fired a shot at police near the intersection of St. Vrain and Weber streets, four blocks from Yampa Field, before being apprehended by trailing officers.
Local homeowner Roberts described the scene as “low-key until the shot was fired. Then there were cops everywhere.”
Within the few minutes that the entire event took place, Campus Safety had already prepared an alert to go out if there was any chance of danger to the campus community. “We got an officer to the scene and determined that the subject was in custody—there was no threat to campus security,” Cunningham said.
At the first sign of possible danger to the campus, it is protocol that notifications are sent to the administration to let them know the status of the situation. “Any notification that we put out has to be timely, accurate, and useful. Accuracy is important. We don’t want to put out rumors.”
CSPD Officer Jason Newton, who played a part in monitoring the play-by-play of the shooting, also stands behind the importance of accuracy.
“It wasn’t an ongoing situation; everything was contained. They [Campus Safety] were ready to send a message if we needed. That’s why we evaluate the situation. We could’ve put a lot of people in panic when everything was OK,” Officer Newton said.
Prevention is just as important as response when it comes to crime. That is why Officer Newton launched the Tiger Watch program at CC and created the affiliated Facebook page. In addition, emails are sent out to students with advice about everything from crime patterns to drinking tips.
The home at 815 N. Nevada Ave. contains various small apartments.
“There are kids who live around there,” said Samuel Brody, CC Student Government Association Off-Campus Representative. “I also have a bunch of buddies that live at 724 Nevada Ave.”
Four CC students currently live at 819 N. Nevada Ave., just next door to where the burglary was reported. With other students also living nearby the shooting area, the incident poses a risk to those off-campus residences as well.
“It’s never good to have shootings around a college especially in light of the recent tragedies, but at the same time I don’t always feel safe in Colorado Springs but I always feel safe on our campus,” Brody said.
Off-campus students may be wondering how they can keep their homes safe from crime.
In response, Campus Safety will be providing new services in crime prevention. “Students off-campus can request us to come to their house to look and see if their locks are properly working and do an assessment of their homes. We provide that as a free service, and we have national certifications,” Officer Newton said.
Campus Safety will also be performing regular safety checks around school at times when student housing is most susceptible to crime—particularly from 9 a.m. until noon.
Officer Newton’s biggest tip for off campus houses is to “lock the doors and pull the blinds down.”
Upon capture, Dandrea was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and an outstanding warrant for parole violation, while Medlock was arrested on an unrelated warrant.
Police inquiries revealed that the two men had permission to be at the home, and thus no subsequent burglary charges were filed against them.
Jesse Paul and Jack Sweeney
Editor-in-Chief and Deputy News Editor