University Village gunshot noise linked to dry ice bomb incident
Published: Friday, April 27, 2007
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011 16:03
On April 18, Campus Security received calls from University Village residents regarding a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot. The Omaha Police were notified and arrived on the scene.A subsequent investigation found the remnants of a dry ice bomb in Elmwood Park just east of University Village, said Asstant Manager of Campus Security, Paul Kosel.
According to the Campus Security report, at about 11:30 p.m. an officer "reported hearing a loud explosion and encountered a student crying and yelling while running from where the explosion occurred."
Campus Security received several telephone calls regarding the noise, said Kosel, and responded immediately.
"We called the Omaha Police Department first and responded to the area," said Kosel. "Looked around, didn't see anything, didn't hear anything. [We] tried to get into contact with the people that called us [and] worked off of that."
While the initial calls described the noise as a gunshot, Kosel said officers located the "remnants of a dry ice bomb, [a] two-liter bottle with junk in it." These pieces were found in the part of Elmwood Park that juts into campus just east of the lower dormitory buildings.
Kosel described a dry ice bomb as a reaction of compressed gas building up within a plastic bottle.
"When it explodes, you've got that cap flying off, fragments of the bottle flying, fluid flying with dry ice," said Kosel. "It could burn you without a doubt."
Residents were not informed of the investigation's findings, leaving many of them guessing what the noise had been.
"I heard a loud bang, figured it was a car backfiring," said Alicia Hoesing, a resident of University Village. She said the noise was "pretty loud" but she "never would have thought of a bomb."
Steve Saur, the managing director of University Village, said similar incidents had occurred before, but they were not that big of a concern.
"We have people who let off fireworks; we have people who pull pranks," said Saur. "We're not doing much follow-up."
Despite calls reporting the explosion as a gunshot, Kosel said once officers arrived on the scene and found the remains of the dry ice device, a shooting was ruled out. However, he said if the incident had been a shooting, his department would "try to help anyone that was injured, go from there and assist police as we could."
"With everything going on recently," said Kosel, "we suspect it was . just for fun, being creative.