Shots fired near campus



The Wesley Foundation building is located at 2422 College Street. Shots were fired Saturday night, and an arrest has been made.

JACOB MADDEN, News Editor | [email protected]

Gunshots rang out over the weekend near the Wesley Foundation, across the street from the UNI President’s home. The 911 call came in to the Cedar Falls Police Department (CFPD) late Saturday night according to Captain Mike Hayes.

“There were gunshots possibly inside the Wesley Foundation and outside,” Hayes said.

The Wesley Foundation is located on the corner of 25th Street and College Street. A UNI student organization was hosting a party there Saturday  night into early Sunday morning according to Wesley Foundation campus minister David Glenn-Burns.

Hayes explained that there was an officer in the area at the time of the call.

“People were scattering all over the place when officers arrived,” Hayes said.

One suspect, Darius Devon Nickelous, was arrested in connection with the incident on charges of interference with no injury, intimidation and provocation with a weapon and possession of weapons by a felon, according to CFPD arrest records. Hayes said he cannot comment on the motives for the incident, but that the public is no longer in danger.

“The student organization had complied with all of the rules that their national organization had required of them for these kind of events,” Glenn-Burns said, “and procedures and policies we require of any of the groups that meet in the building.”

There was professional security at the event, according to Glenn-Burns. “We work with a lot of student organizations; we don’t open it up for [anyone] other than University of Northern Iowa registered student organizations.” Glenn-Burns explained that with a lot of students coming to these events, incidents are bound to occur.

“The reality is when you get a lot of people in a small space, tempers flare, people start pushing and shoving,” Glenn-Burns said. “Sometimes nothing comes out of it and sometimes something [does].”

While Glenn-Burns recognized the danger of the situation, he noted that similar dangers are all too common.

“A person could go to a sporting event or a concert and somebody [could] have a weapon. So I don’t live in fear,” Glenn-Burns said. “What I worry about is the students who have grown up with a lot of mass shootings around the world, so I understand why students get nervous.”

Jessica Patterson, a graduate student in history, said she feels the campus and the Hill are both still fairly safe.

“My first thought when I was reading about it was that [the shooting] was because [the event] was open and accepting,” Patterson said, “I was worried it was a homophobic attack.”

According to the Wesley Foundation website, it aims to be inclusive of all groups, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation or belief systems.

Hayes said that there are very few incidents involving gunshots in the Cedar Valley.

“Does it occur? Yes. But is it frequent? No,” said Hayes.

Hayes explained that in order to remain safe on the Hill, stay in groups, and always report suspicious activities and objects to police, especially when it involves weapons.

“Call authorities right away and let them handle it,” Hayes said, “don’t take matters into your own hands because we don’t need someone to get injured over it.”

According to Hayes, the investigation continues and there is a possibility that more arrests will be made.