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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

Suspect who triggered BJU lockdown has been arrested

Nathaniel Hendry
Law enforcement officials drove past BJU during the lockdown on Feb. 22, 2023. The suspect never entered BJU’s campus. Photo: Nathaniel Hendry

An armed suspect has been apprehended after passing near Bob Jones University on Wednesday afternoon. According to the U.S. Marshals, the suspect was arrested on Wednesday around 4:15 p.m. 

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, law enforcement personnel were seeking to arrest the suspect, Dei Sean Akeise Pitts, for illegal possession of a firearm. 

BJU sent out an alert to all students, faculty and staff on Wednesday at 2:20 p.m. warning of a “Black male suspect considered armed and dangerous; wearing red and black hoodie.”  

At the time of the alert, the suspect was last seen behind Pecknel Music, a store immediately across Pleasantburg Drive from BJU.   

BJU sent out another alert at 2:48 p.m. initiating a lockdown of all campus buildings, with access only available by card swiping an official university identification card.  

The suspect, who was being pursued by officers from the Greenville County Sheriff ‘s Office and U.S. Marshals Service, subsequently moved away from campus, allowing BJU to end the lockdown and open the gates at 3:26 p.m. 

A helicopter for WYFF News 4 was seen circling the area around campus during the afternoon. 

Greenville County Emergency Management initiated a temporary “shelter in place” order in the surrounding community. Greenville Middle School and East North Academy also had a temporary lockdown. 

David Champ, head of Public Safety at BJU, said he was thankful for the close working relationship between the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and BJU’s Office of Public Safety. “When this happened, they called us directly,” Champ said. “It’s a great working relationship.” The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office frequently conducts training exercises on BJU’s campus.

This article has been edited to correct typographical errors and add a statement from the Office of Public Safety

A WYFF News 4 helicopter circled campus repeatedly in Wednesday afternoon, presumably tracking the pursuit. Photo: Nathaniel Hendry



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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Hendry, Editor-in-Chief
Nathaniel Hendry is a senior communication major currently serving as the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Before becoming editor, he worked as a writer and photographer for the Collegian for three semesters. He also runs a videography business and in his free time enjoys running, playing sports, reading, gardening, traveling, hiking and camping.  

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Suspect who triggered BJU lockdown has been arrested