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.





Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Corker Urges U.S. And Other Nations To Accelerate Efforts To Stop Ebola Outbreak In West Africa

Senator Bob Corker issued the following statement on Tuesday, after speaking with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah about the U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa. “As we address this problem, the most important thing for us to do is to contain and stop Ebola in West Africa, and for that reason, I talked with Administrator Shah to receive ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)

Mihaescu, March Win Region 3-A/AA Cross Country Titles

The weather wasn't quite as nice as it was last week, but it was still sunny and warm on Tuesday afternoon for the Region 3-A/AA cross country championships, which were held on a flat course at Camp Jordan in East Ridge. Sequoyah senior Danielle March was the female winner as she toured the 5K course in 21 minutes, 46 seconds to win by almost a minute over KiAnna Queener, ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Defeats East Ridge 7-1 In Soccer Semi

The Boyd-Buchanan girls’ soccer team has already made history this season, but coach Todd Ledbetter’s Lady Bucs are hungry for more. After winning the school’s first district title last week, they moved a step closer to another championship with a Region 3-A/AA semifinal victory at home on Tuesday. Boyd-Buchanan, the 5-A/AA champion, defeated District 6 runner-up ... (click for more)