CPD, SWAT respond to emergency incident at McCabe Hall


Samantha Moilanen

Chicago Police set a perimeter around McCabe Hall Thursday in response to an emergency situation inside the building.

After a more than four-hour incident, CPD and SWAT officers left a controlled scene at McCabe Hall that had the DePaul community on edge Thursday afternoon. The situation concluded when an individual was removed from the residence hall on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus and taken away by first responders.

Students, staff and faculty became aware of the incident when DePaul sent out an alert notifying students of an emergency situation at McCabe Hall on the Lincoln Park campus, Thursday afternoon.

Chicago police responded to the incident at 900 W. Belden St. around 12:30 p.m., according to students present at the time.

Students received the alert at 1:12 p.m., informing the DePaul community that the Chicago Police Department was responding to an emergency situation involving a student. The alert also warned students to avoid the area near Belden and Fremont St.

CPD negotiators were seen on the ground floor inside McCabe Hall Thursday afternoon. (Patrick Sloan-Turner)

Multiple sources said the incident took place on the fifth floor of McCabe Hall.

CPD and the Fire Department blocked off Belden St. from vehicle traffic and redirected those on foot to proceed away from the incident.

A CPD SWAT unit was present on scene. A Crisis Intervention Team including negotiators were seen inside the building responding to the incident. The situation also involved a Hostage Barricade Team.

CPD set up a perimeter to control entry and exit from the building. Students and nearby residents watched the scene from Belden St. and outside the Cortelyou Commons building, near Wish Field.

A women’s soccer game that was to take place adjacent to McCabe Hall at 3 p.m. was cancelled to due to the incident.

The next alert was sent at 3:55 p.m. informing students the situation is still ongoing and to continue to avoid the area surrounding McCabe Hall, and according to public safety, there was no threat to the DePaul community at that time.

Multiple sources said students inside the building were asked to remain inside, and throughout the incident, students permitted to enter McCabe were asked not to leave their rooms until the situation was resolved.

Students were not able to access the fifth floor during the incident.

Around 4:10 p.m., an individual was seen being removed from the building by first responders and put into an ambulance.

Public safety informed the university community via alert at 4:36 p.m. that the emergency situation had ended, and students were now allowed to enter and exit the building.

After the individual had left the scene, CPD SWAT safely detonated a non-lethal distraction device in the parking lot outside the building.

At 7:28 p.m., Eugene L. Zdziarski, vice president for Student Affairs, released a statement via email regarding the situation.

“There was no threat to the community, but we needed to reduce the amount of people and congestion in the area. The students involved in these situations are safe and residents have been permitted to return to their residential rooms,” the statement said.

Connect with Patrick Sloan-Turner: @PatSloanTurner | [email protected]

Connect with Sam Moilanen: @sam_moilanen3 | [email protected]