A 20-year-old man who gave Kansas University police a false description of an armed assailant in KU’s McCollum Hall is now a suspect in Friday’s incident. That description sent police searching throughout Lawrence for a man who didn’t exist.
Police investigate McCollum Hall for gun
All available Kansas University police officers and some members of the Lawrence police department were dispatched just before 2 p.m. Friday to McCollum Hall in response to report of a man with a gun at the residence hall.
The KU Public Safety Office continues to look for the real suspect, Samuel Lennell Moore from Kansas City, Kan.
Moore is described as African-American, 6 feet tall and 155 pounds. He was last reported to be driving a silver 2004 Saturn Ion with Kansas tags. According to KU spokesperson Jill Jess, KU Public Safety officials said they have reason to believe the man pictured in Journal-World photographer Kevin Anderson's photo (above) is of Moore.
Moore may have a weapon in his possession, and anyone who sees him is advised to avoid approaching him and immediately call 911.
Not a KU student, Moore is wanted on multiple arrest warrants for failure to appear in court on theft and criminal trespassing charges.
According to a KU news release, Moore was involved in a domestic dispute at McCollum Hall, 1800 Engel Road, about 2 p.m. Friday. A neighbor overheard the couple arguing and a man yelling, “Where’s my gun? Where’s my gun?” The student notified authorities, who then contacted the police.
Police arrived within minutes and interviewed the woman in the room. She gave police a false report that an armed man had attacked her and a made-up description of what he looked like.
Moore told police he was visiting a friend on the floor and intervened to protect the woman from the armed assailant, who had fled down the stairs, according to a KU news report.
Moore gave a false description of the assailant and a fake name to police. He left shortly after being interviewed, KU spokesperson Jill Jess said.
The assailant the two invented was a light-skinned black man, wearing a white T-shirt with brown trim, black sweatpants and white tennis shoes and had tattoos fully covering both arms.
In the process of their investigation, police determined the couple’s story was fabricated, Jess said.
KU police will be presenting a report to the Douglas County District Attorney’s office for possible prosecution. The woman, a KU student who was not identified by KU, will face student housing and nonacademic disciplinary hearings.
During Friday’s incident, the university enacted its emergency notification system, sending text, e-mail and Web notices to advise people to avoid McCollum Hall during the police search.
Officers conducted a room-by-room search of the 10-story residence hall, which houses 900 students.
Police investigated the incident based on the information they received, Jess said.
“At that point safety of the students is most important,” Jess said.
Jess also praised the student making the initial report, noting she acted “entirely appropriately, and we commend her.”