Man Arrested In Connection With Lockdown On Southern Adventist University's Campus; Police Say He Threatened To Use Firearms And Explosives On Campus; Report Of Shots Fired Unfounded

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Southern Adventist University was under a lockdown Thursday afternoon, but it was lifted by mid-afternoon. A man who allegedly made threats after he became upset over a delay in paperwork was arrested.

Collegedale Police said James Gaines made specific threats about using firearms and explosives on campus. 

Police were told that Gaines was on his way to the campus, but he never reached the school and was arrested at another location. 

The university said Gaines is a former student at Southern and that Chattanooga State officials advised them of the threats.

During the search for Gaines, police were told that shots had been fired inside a men's dormitory. Police said they received several 911 calls from students in regard to the alleged shots. Police could find no evidence that shots were fired. 

Several Hamilton County schools were also locked down, but were re-opened.

The lockdown started a little after noon.

Emergency text alerts and overhead alarms instructed students that this was not a drill.

“This is a campus-wide lockdown,” the alarm stated. “Take shelter inside now. Lock doors and windows and move to an interior wall. Stay quiet and calm and wait for further instruction.”


Southern Adventist University issued this statement about the incident: Today Chattanooga State Community College officials alerted Southern Adventist University to a perceived threat by a former Southern student that prompted our campus lockdown. This individual was located off campus and brought in for questioning by Collegedale police.

Many rumors have been circulating that are unfounded. One was that gunshots were fired in Talge Hall. This was responded to and investigated by Collegedale police. After a search of the building there was no evidence of this.

After Collegedale police determined the campus was not in danger, the campus lockdown was lifted. Southern Adventist University places a high priority on the safety of our students, employees, and campus guests and responds appropriately to perceived threats.

Southern is holding a joint worship for students at 6 p.m. in the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist church sanctuary where information and a question and answer time will be held after a short devotional. Counselors will be available there for any students who wish to speak with someone regarding the incident. Individuals who may feel they need to process today’s events outside of this evening’s worship service are encouraged to speak with a campus counselor in the Student Success Center located in Lynn Wood Hall.

The university would like to express gratitude to Southern’s Campus Safety and local emergency service personnel for their assistance and attention to keeping the campus safe.





Tennessee State Trooper Resigns In Lieu Of Termination

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott announced   Friday   that a Tennessee state trooper in the Fall Branch District resigned from the department in lieu of termination following an internal investigation into an arrest on domestic assault charges. The Johnson City Police ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAHMED, ALEC HARRIS     8914 QUAIL RUN DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 374210000     19     Hamilton County          VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF     AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL TRESSPASS BAKER, SARAH CAITLYN     1423 CYPRESS ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)

Owls Force Seven Turnovers, Rout Hurricanes, 41-7

Turnovers turn into blowouts. In a county rival that drew what East Hamilton announced as a record crowd, Ooltewah forced an amazing seven turnovers – two interceptions and five lost fumbles – and the Owls trounced the Hurricanes, 41-7, in a District 5-AAA high school football game played on a pleasant Friday night. “Right now we’re playing, statistically, about as well as ... (click for more)

Brainerd Tops East Ridge in OT, 29-28

Brainerd's Demonte Pickett threw for two touchdown and ran for the winning two-point conversion in overtime as the visiting Panthers rallied to edge East Ridge, 29-28, in a AA District 6 football game Friday night. East Ridge led 21-7 with 4:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, before Brainerd scored twice to tie the game at 21-21 and force overtime. In the extra ... (click for more)