Suspect in Custody After Potential Threat at UMD

Donald Allen Rankin is being held in St. Louis County Jail on 3 charges

DULUTH, Minn. – There was a potential threat on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus Tuesday night.

It all started with a 911 call reporting a man making suicidal threats who may have had a gun.

The suspect was arrested Monday night near the Marshall Alworth Planetarium at UMD about thirty minutes after the initial 911 call.

Turns out the suspect did not have a weapon and no weapon was discovered near the scene.

According to investigators, no known threats were made by the suspect to UMD or anyone connected with the university.

23-year-old Donald Allen Rankin is now being held in St. Louis County jail on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia along with a felony probation violation charge.

It is now believed he was having a mental health crisis at the time of his arrest.

Police say Rankin has no known connection to UMD but he was known to university police for prior incidents.

“He was arrested here on the UMD campus on the 21st of December on an outstanding burglary warrant out of St. Louis County, he was taken to St. Louis County jail on that warrant at that time. He was also interviewed about potential vandalism incidents that we believe he was involved in on the UMD campus. We’re still investigating those,” said UMD Director of Police, Sean Huls.

Minutes after the treat was called in, UMD sent out a notification using their text alert system telling everyone to seek cover or get as far away from the scene as possible.

All students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in the alert system and have to opt out to not receive the alerts.

“We were fortunate last night during the incident that we’re during winter break right now,” said Huls. “The majority of our students, faculty, and staff were not here on campus. We had a very small number of individuals who were here but, looking at the messages, it appears we had a very high delivery rate.”

Another alert was sent about thirty minutes after the suspect was arrested letting the UMD community know the campus was considered safe.

It’s not believed anybody else was involved in the incident.

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