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Police still investigating bullet found
 in Mount dorm window

Jeremy Hauck and Margarita Raycheva
The Gazetter

(2/12) According to Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, sheriff's office spokeswoman, the bullet was shot while one of the room's female residents was in her room in Sheridan Hall, which houses mostly freshmen.

"She heard the bullet hit the window, but it took her a couple of minutes to realize what it was," Bailey said.

The 9mm bullet wedged into the window pane and did not hurt the student. Now, the Sheriff's Office is trying to figure out where the bullet came from, if it was shot at the dorm by mistake and who is responsible, Bailey said.

"These are questions that we are trying to answer," Bailey said.

The bullet may have been shot from a distance, which caused it to get stuck in the window instead of shattering it, she said.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office declared the campus of Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg safe at 1:30 p.m., Friday, ending a lockdown prompted after the bullet was found at about 10:30 a.m.

The student called the university's public safety office at 10:57. Sheriff's deputies arrived at 11:16 a.m., seven minutes after being called, and Mount St. Mary's University President Thomas H. Powell activated the emergency management plan at 11:21 a.m.

Students watched from the windows of Bicentennial Hall, across the street from Sheridan Hall, with phones to their heads, as investigators walked around the campus. Two helicopters hovered overhead.

"I can't see where it would be fired from anywhere here, close," said John Dayhoff, 56, of Rocky Ridge, a university carpenter. Dayhoff was guarding a back gate in his truck. "It doesn't take too much to go through two panes of glass."

In his 30 years at The Mount, the campus had never before gone on lockdown, Dayhoff said.

Bill Wellford of Laurel had planned to pick up his daughter, freshman Laura Wellford, 18, and head back home for her weekend visit. Instead he got a call from his daughter when he was minutes way from campus, and arrived to find police tape around the dorm adjacent to his daughter's dorm.

Wellford said he was scared for about five minutes until he realized there was no danger. "Nothing to do but wait it out, I guess. At least everybody's alright."

Wellford was impressed by the Mount alert system.

"I tell you, the telephone notification system is a fabulous thing," Wellford said. "My wife and my other daughter and everybody got that. At least they let you know what's going on."

At 1:33 p.m., someone on the other end of Dayhoff's two-way radio gave word that it was OK for staff to move about. At 1:35, he got a phone call. He held out the phone, and a female voice said that the university "has declared that the emergency no longer exists."

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