An early morning raucous gathering involving Rockhurst University students led to a three-hour standoff with Kansas City police after neighbors reported hearing what they thought were gunshots.
Officers were called to a residence in the 5000 block of Lydia Avenue, near the Rockhurst campus just after 3 a.m. Friday on a report of gunshots fired. It turned out the gunshots were actually fireworks, said Randy Hopkins, chief of campus security.
KC police and campus security arrived and heard a disturbance outside a nearby residence. The officers directed several persons involved in the disturbance to walk toward them. Instead of complying, the students walked into a residence and refused to come outside, Hopkins said.
Once inside the residence, someone threw out some fireworks and one of the officers saw what he believed was the silhouette of someone holding a long-arm rifle.
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Authorities used a public-address system to make several attempts to get the students to come out of the house.
Just after 5 a.m., two people inside the residence walked outside and complied with police demands. They allowed the officers to search the residence. Officers went in and found several persons inside. They also found an air rifle inside the house.
Hopkins said no municipal laws were violated aside from setting off fireworks. The residence is not part of the university but is private property leased by the students, Hopkins said.
The incident will be reviewed by university officials.
“The unfortunate part in all of this is that it distracts from the many positive contributions that the other students make in the community, and they give a lot of service and they are known for their good conduct and their leadership,” Hopkins said. “This behavior does not fit the Rockhurst perspective.”