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Marywood promises protocol review after gun scare

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DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The president of Marywood University is promising to review emergency procedures after a gun scare on campus Wednesday afternoon.

As Eyewitness News first reported Wednesday night, Alex Barowski, 28, of Archbald was arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded gun onto campus.

One student says he showed it to her inside a classroom building. She then told staff members who notified campus security prompting a large police response.

Despite a quick arrest, Marywood University is getting criticism for the way it handled its emergency alert system.

The situation started to play out just after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.

While many students say they saw a flurry of police descend onto campus they were never notified thorugh the school’s emergency alert system until after the man was already in custody.

Livia Rainey returned to class at Marywood University Thursday but admits she is a little uneasy.

“Hearing what happened in Las Vegas, to think something like that could happen right here on my campus is terrifying,” Rainey said.

Just one day after police flooded campus responding to the reports of a man with a gun inside the university’s science building, Rainey wants to know why she only received one emergency alert after the incident was contained.

It said, in part, “the situation on campus has been successfully resolved.”

Rainey expected a real-time update as soon as the emergency started.

“I think they should have alerted us in some way other than just telling us the problem was resolved. We weren’t really sure what the problem was. They were really vague about it,” Rainey said.

The president of Marywood University sent an e-mail to all students Thursday acknowleding that some are concerned and angry.

Sister Mary Persico says the primary reason an initial alert wasn’t sent was because the Marywood Security team immediately went to help students who might have been in danger.

The president is now pledging protocols will be reviewed.

“I think that’s a really good response that they’re going to take students feelings into considerations because obviously we have to go to school here, we’re walking around here, we need to feel safe,” Marywood University Freshman Kateri O’Connor said.

Not everyone is upset an emergency alert wasn’t immediately sent.

DuShaun Blackwood says the man arrested was also a student so he would have gotten the same alert.

“If he did happen to get an alert, just like everyone else, I think the smallest thing probably could have set him off,” Marywood University junior DuShaun Blackwood said.

Marywood University says because of the quick action of its security team, along with Dunmore, Scranton and Throop police, the man who had the gun on campus was caught in his car within minutes and no one was hurt.

The school is still offering counseling services to anyone that needs to talk about what happened.

Dunmore police say Alex Barowski did have a permit to have a firearm but Marywood University police does not allow deadly weapons on campus.

Barowski is locked-up tonight on $500,000 bail in Lackawanna County.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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