More information and photos from tonight’s Midnight Madness shooting

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Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson just officially confirmed that one shot was fired in a men’s bathroom in McDonough.  No one was injured, but authorities made the decision to hold students in the building for a few minutes after the event.

Olson confirmed that the suspect was apprehended on Village C West and that no shots were fired there. The suspect is a male Georgetown student and is currently in MPD custody.

Update 3:15 a.m. According to Leigh Finnegan, a Voice leisure writer and resident of Village C West, a freshman student from San Diego, CA who lives on the third floor of VCW,  drunkenly took a handgun from an officer during Midnight Madness.

A weapon was discharged in the men’s bathroom of McDonough Gymnasium, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson.

The drunk student then allegedly returned to the third floor of VCW where he was apprehended by DPS, according to Finnegan.

Concerned students from VCW notified DPS about the student with the weapon, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The source said the gun was taken from a female officer with a federal agency, possibly the Park Police.  The gun was made by Heckler and Koch, the source explained, and added that the high-quality firearm could be devastating in the wrong hands.

Vice President Olson had no comment about the type of weapon or whether it belonged to a federal employee.

DPS released an advisory about the incident early this morning, the full text of which can be found after the jump.

Update 11:00 a.m. Vox just obtained the MPD arrest log, which shows that Georgetown student Alex Thiele was booked at 12:30 a.m. for possession of a handgun without a license.

Reporting by Eric Pilch and Will Sommer. Photos by George D’Angelo.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

At approximately 10:30 pm last night during the Midnight Madness event in McDonough Gym, a report was made of a gunshot in the building. DPS officers working the event responded to one of the men’s restrooms and found evidence that a gun had been discharged in that room. There were no injuries to any individuals and no evidence that any individual was being targeted. DPS and MPD officers immediately responded to the scene and began searching the gym and surrounding area for suspect(s).

Officers quickly identified a possible suspect and recovered the handgun involved in the incident. MPD has arrested the suspect, a Georgetown student, who was removed from campus and taken into custody. MPD is conducting a follow up investigation. Police tell us this appears to be an isolated incident and there is no continuing threat to the university community.

As you know, we take the safety and security of our campus community very seriously and we appreciate the quick and effective work of DPS and MPD officers to resolve this matter expeditiously.


Rocco DelMonaco, Vice President for University Safety

Todd Olson, Vice President for Student Affairs

46 Comments on “More information and photos from tonight’s Midnight Madness shooting

  1. Pingback: Vox Populi » BREAKING: Shots fired in McDonough, 5,000 detained at Midnight Madness

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  3. Can we please screen our freshman applicants better? I realize rates are down 2% again, but come on, this is beyond the pale.

  4. great timely coverage,

    first – this is insanity.
    second – I hope this does not bring arming DPS back on the table.

    third – disappointing lack of puns in the photo captions since (1) this occurred where people were shooting hoops, and (2) this is allegedly about a freshman boy accidentally discharging a weapon, who was apparently not shooting blanks.

  5. this is very sad… i hope the students may take from this not only that this guy has a problem and coulda caused serious injuries.. but that jt3 and the georgetown people did handle this very well to not cause panic… and also , sorry to be an old timer but to be careful about getting drunk to get drunk…. i remember when my daughters class mate was killed when he struck his head when he and another athlete i believe got into an arguement in the library parking lot…PLEASE hope all students use some judgement life is short and precious..

  6. Both the suspect and the cop who let her gun be taken by a drunk kid deserve severe punishment.

  7. ^ We don’t know how the handgun was taken, so let’s not attack the officer yet (though questions clearly have to be asked).

    I’d hope the idiot gets expelled for this.

  8. “We don’t know how the handgun was taken.”

    Is there any way that it could have been taken that would make it ok for the officer to have allowed it to happen?

  9. Actually, that is possible. The holsters for guns have to strike a balance between security and ease of access for the officer.

  10. did anyone actually confirm outside of this voice leisure writer (with no apparent qualification to make this statement) that the handgun was taken from an officer? what about the mpd arrest log? would taking the weapon of an officer be on that? this seems to be rumor…please confirm?

  11. @hoya 2011

    We have a police report confirming that that handgun was taken from an officer. The report also confirmed the manufacturer of the weapon (H&K) seen above.

  12. Pingback: Vox Populi » Gun used in Midnight Madness shooting was stolen from US Park Police officer, MPD report shows

  13. All of you people who were not consequential to the accident nor know Alex Thiele have no right to comment on the situation that you really know nothing about if most of what you know came from this post. There are inconsistencies in this report. Settle down, and you will find out eventually that this is a lot of smoke with little flame. And I do not believe that anyone that works for the Park Police needs to carry a weapon to an event not concerning their jurisdiction.
    And if any reporter from the Voice ever shows his or her face on VCW3 again, you will face extreme verbal harassment. Thank you.

  14. I think we do have a right, given the situation. If the facts bear out his innocence, good for him. But that doesn’t mean we can’t comment (and clearly, the photos show something went down and the fact that he was drunk is NOT a justification). If someone discharges a gun they are not authorized to have or use in a manner such as this, there’s a problem. And that person will bear the consequences.

    As for the officer herself, let’s not get into “jurisdiction issues.” Because you’ll probably not win any legal argument.

    Thank YOU!

  15. LC2013: this “accident” you refer to – did Alex accidentally end up with a gun in his hand that was not his, accidentally shoot the toilet, or accidentally take the gun back to a residence hall?

  16. Loosing accountability and positive control of your weapon is a serious problem – the officer Alex took the gun from should face some harsh discipline.

    Having the sober or drunk impulse to take an officer’s weapon… and discharge a live round is an even bigger problem. No place for people like this at Georgetown, there are no circumstances that could vindicate Alex – except if he didn’t do it and MPD arrested the wrong guy. In the age of grade school and college violent shootings (Columbine to VA Tech) there is a real need to have armed officers at large gatherings of students – this is not an ideal situation, but it is what it is.

    In many ways, Alex is lucky, he could have killed himself (bullets ricochet and fragment) or someone else.

    Bottom Line – he has no business getting a Georgetown diploma.

    yup, a gun wasn’t stolen by a drunk guy, fired, and taken back to a dorm where it could have done more harm.
    I’m not a reporter, but I might just stop by VCW3 just to get some of your misguided verbal harassment for the lulz.

  18. Pingback: Georgetown student arrested for bathroom gunshot - Newsroom Blog - The GW Hatchet

  19. WOW. A drunk student took a gun and discharged it in an arena with thousands of people and then carried the gun around for a while. He’s lucky he didn’t kill anyone. And people don’t have a right to comment just because we don’t know Alex Thiele? You are a moron.

  20. I’m just glad nobody drunkenly decided to pick a fight with this Alex character last night. I bet he felt like a big man. I wonder how he feels now.

  21. Wow you guys need to get your facts straight. About 90% of this article is false and people are taking it as if its the gospel. Too many people are blaming the kid too harshly when the woman with the gun was clearly and idiot for bringing a loaded weapon to a pep rally and then leaving it in her coat pocket on a bench. Yeah he made some bad decisions after he found it but he wouldnt have stolen it on purpose and fired it into a toilet for fun. Try and get some facts before you start judging.

  22. Im confused…the claims of the article ( and of the voice writer) seem to match up with the later one based on the police report. Most of the other info comes from Todd Olsen.

    so @CO are the police lying or is Todd Olsen lying- How exactly did you get to 90% of this article is false. Can you enlighten us about what really happened?


  23. ” The gun was made by Heckler and Koch, the source explained, and added that the high-quality firearm could be devastating in the wrong hands.”

    Um, wouldn’t it be safe to characterize any gun in the wrong hands a potentially devastating? It’s not like: “last night a blind drunk student got his hands on a gun, but it was just a .22 so nobody really cared that much”

  24. “Too many people are blaming the kid too harshly when the woman with the gun was clearly and idiot for bringing a loaded weapon to a pep rally and then leaving it in her coat pocket on a bench.”

    HAHAHAHAHA. I’m sorry, that’s just ridiculous. Is the officer blameworthy for something? Hell yes. She shouldn’t have left that weapon unattended. Regardless, that does NOT justify what this kid did. Logic 101. The officer is not the one who STOLE the gun then FIRED it.

  25. Thank you CO you are absolutely right that this is not all correct.

  26. “Yeah he made some bad decisions after he found it but he wouldnt have stolen it on purpose and fired it into a toilet for fun. Try and get some facts before you start judging.”

    I hardly think taking something from someone else’s coat pocket or purse or whatever qualifies as him having “found” it.

    Oh, wait, you say that he did steal it. And you seem to have some sort of extra information of WHY he stole it and fired it into a toilet (clearly not for fun, which no one was suggesting anyways). Care to share?

  27. Oh u dnt wann arm DPS u people are ignorant white collar dummies who hate police when u
    c them but when something happens your glad to c officers . You think a DPS officer wants to get shot for one of u ungrateful bastards
    . They put themselves in dangerous situiatons u never even here about for you ungrateful assholes and u have the nerve to say they shouldn’t be armed.
    They apprehended a armed suspect who was armed with a swat tactical weapon for christ sakes.
    And what did DPS have batons and pepper spray does any care how many DPS officers could have been killed, I bet u didnt

  28. hahaha

    you’re right, because giving weapons to people who aren’t trained in using them worked really well this time…what a joke.

  29. @Georgetowner

    Good point, that language isn’t clear. We meant to convey that this gun was a particularly powerful weapon, not just a run-of-the-mill handgun.

  30. To be fair, Hunter, it looks like it was a Park Police officer who couldnt keep her loaded firearm on her person.. not DPS. While I don’t personally support DPS having guns, the poster above you is right.. a lot of things go down that don’t get reported (or get partially suppressed). You don’t have to believe me but, for example, a couple years back, there was an incident with a knife outside of Henle .. according to the press no officers were hurt, but we know that at least one went to the hospital.

  31. Who said it’s particularly powerful? If looks like a run-of-the-mill handgun to me.

  32. Someone familiar with the investigation, who I understood to have a familiarity with guns, said it.

    (Edited my comment to be more descriptive).

  33. If these posts are any indication, then 40% of Vox’s readership is made up of Alex Thiele’s friends, Park Police apologists, or half-literate DPS supporters.

    This has become a very strange collection of comments, but suffice it to say most of them are wrong.

    We do get to judge Alex because we do know what happened. A University administrator and Metro are reliable sources. I’ll believe those over an anonymous poster. This Thiele moron pulled an asinine and dangerous stunt and should probably go to jail for it.

    The officer who brought the weapon is also an idiot. She should be fired or at least removed from any position that involves carrying a firearm.

    DPS officers shouldn’t be armed because this incident is proof that mixing guns and drunk college students is a bad idea.

    Simple, here people.

  34. “Too many people are blaming the kid too harshly when the woman with the gun was clearly and idiot for bringing a loaded weapon to a pep rally and then leaving it in her coat pocket on a bench.”

    You must have authority/daddy issues or are a member of the NRA.

  35. “Too many people are blaming the kid too harshly when the woman with the gun was clearly and idiot for bringing a loaded weapon to a pep rally and then leaving it in her coat pocket on a bench.”

    “And I do not believe that anyone that works for the Park Police needs to carry a weapon to an event not concerning their jurisdiction.”

    Wow. How did these morons get into Georgetown in the first place? Not only should Alex Thiele be expelled, but the administration should track down these morons and expel them, too. It shouldn’t be too hard, apparently they’re all on VCW3.

  36. Why are you hiding the identity of your source? I smell a rat.

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  38. I am a friend of Alex. I have been in school with him since 7th grade. I am extremely upset with his actions and do not in anyway dismiss them due to his intoxication. I do however recognize a troubled kid with a problem that needs help. I think his arrest is a positive thing that will teach him a lesson and snap him into reality. I believe Alex has a serious drinking problem and may have been heading down the road to alcoholism. As his friend I would never want to see him living with the misery of that disease. Maybe now that he has been taken out of the college world of excessive partying and drunkenness he can really get back to being the fun, caring, extremely bright kid that he naturally is. So, I think it best for all of us to spend our time not on gossiping, joking, and threatening each other on this website, but to think of ways to help and support him. Maybe that means just leaving him be to sort this unfortunate reality out. He really doesn’t need all of us reminding him of his idiotic decision constantly. You all do not have to agree with me but it is just a request. I understand all of your concern. If this were to happen on my campus I would want that student far away from me for my safety. I am shocked but I do know Alex on a very personal level and this is not in his character, that’s why I am concerned about his well being and possibility of alcoholism.

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  42. The gun laws are sure getting crazy. Im glad I got my FFL a few years ago. I bet soon you wont be able to get one at all.

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