Suspect in Arkansas State University incident in custody

Dec 10, 2015

A Jonesboro man is in the Craighead County Detention Center after a Thursday event that put the main campus of Arkansas State University in lockdown mode.  Jonesboro Police say 47 year old Brad Kenneth Bartelt drove on to the campus in a green Chevy truck, doused himself in gasoline, and pointed a gun at his chin.  The truck reportedly had gas and a propane tank.  The first call of the incident happened around 1:32 Thursday afternoon.  Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliot says University police officers were immediately on the scene after the truck went to the east side of the student union and the incident started. Elliot says his officers arrived within two minutes.  He says everything ended peacefully after crisis negotiators talked to the man for over an hour. 

Once the incident started, Arkansas State University officials moved students to the west side of the Carl R. Reng Student Union and secured them.  The campus then went into lockdown, where it stayed for at least two hours.  Elliot says by way of motive and why, those questions have not been determined yet.      

Bartelt reportedly threatened to harm himself and did not threaten to harm students or police officers.  No one was injured and shots were not fired in the incident.  University Police Chief Randy Martin praised the fast response and the cooperation of numerous outside agencies that assisted in the response, including the FBI, the Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad, and the Craighead County Sheriff’s Department.

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson says students are being trained in how to deal with an active shooter alert on campus.  He says that, along with local law enforcement’s fast response, helped keep the situation under control.

Officials are still investigating and Bartelt could have his first court appearance as early as next week.