ISU alert at Frederiksen Court Thursday night could have gone ‘very bad’ Iowa State police chief says

One of the acquired BB guns from the suspects in Frederiksen Court complete with a laser sight. Iowa State Police Department Chief Michael Newton says these weapons look very realistic and could have made Thursday night even worse.

Jill Alt

Iowa State Police Chief Michael Newton says that the incident in Frederiksen Court reportedly involving armed individuals could have gone badly very quickly.

Thursday night, at 9:40 p.m., Iowa State University Campus Police responded to reports of men armed with a pistol and rifle in the Frederiksen Court area.

When ISUPD made contact with the suspects it was discovered these weapons were BB or airsoft guns and they were confiscated. In total, four weapons were confiscated: three handguns and one rifle, all BB guns. 

However BB or airsoft guns are required by federal law to have regulation orange tips to prevent the guns from being mistaken for real firearms. The guns acquired by ISUPD did not have these regulation tips, making them difficult to distinguish from legitimate firearms.

It is illegal to remove orange tips from BB pellet guns. 

“If an officer has a split second to make a decision and there is a very realistic looking gun, that situation can get very bad, very quickly,” said Iowa State police chief Michael Newton. 

Pictured below are images of the BB or pellet guns taken into custody by the police. You can see that none of the guns had the regulation tips on them.

No arrests have been made as of Saturday morning and the suspects have not had any charges brought against them, and until then, Iowa State Police cannot release the names of the suspects from that night’s events.

“We are still investigating people, it depends on what the intent was, what they were doing,” Newton said. “There may not be charges, but it is still against rules to have weapons on campus.”

Newton has confirmed that the suspects in question are Iowa State students who live in Building 35 of Frederiksen Court. 

Chief Newton talked about the motives of the events and could not say for sure what they are as the case is still under investigation. He said it is possible that they were trying to “have some fun.” 

“It’s the wrong kind of fun,” Newton said. “There’s better, more productive, things to do than have realistic looking guns on campus.”

The Airsoft club on Iowa State’s campus has made a series of public statements on twitter stating that their members do not keep their weapons on campus and denouncing the behavior of the students in question. 

For details on Iowa State University’s firearm posession policies, click here.