Potty pistol: Gun misfires in Auraria campus women's restroom, police searching for witness

Auraria campus police are looking for a woman whose 9mm pistol accidentally fired in a woman's bathroom stall in classroom building this morning. No one was hurt, police say, and crews have already patched up where the bullet penetrated the drywall.

The Downtown Denver campus -- which includes Metro State College, the Community College of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver -- issued an early warning after the single shot, telling students and staff there was no ongoing threat.

The campus expressly prohibits firearms -- a prohibition other Colorado schools have been taking heat for as of late (check out this post about a judge tossing the CU gun ban and a CSU group fighting a similar policy).

Police are also looking for a woman who reportedly witnessed the incident; the description is included in a press release below.

After the gunshot, which fired off at about 10:13 a.m., police on scene did not find the pistol in the bathroom, said Auraria Campus Police Detective Jason Mollendor. But police did find a 9mm shell.

The potty pistol incident violates Auraria's no-gun policy, which explicitly states: "... the possession of firearms, explosives, or other weapons on the Auraria campus is prohibited."

Here's the release:


April 29, 2010 --11:10 AM

In compliance with the "Timely Notice" provisions of the Federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998, the Auraria Higher Education Center located in Downtown Denver is issuing notice of a violent crime that occurred on the Auraria Campus.

REPORTED OFFENSE: At approximately 10:13 a.m. today (Thursday, April 29, 2010), a handgun was discharged in one of the South Classroom Building's women's restrooms. The discharge is believed to have been accidental and no one was injured from the handgun. Auraria Police advise that there is no ongoing threat to the campus community. The handgun was discharged from a stall in the women's restroom, approximately four inches above the floor and the bullet lodged itself into the drywall.

WITNESS: Auraria Police Officers are attempting to locate a possible witness to this incident. The witness is described as a white female, 18-21, approximately 5'5", blonde hair in a pony tail, wearing a blue plaid shirt.

REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: The Auraria Police Department urges everyone to use caution on or off campus and to stay aware of their surroundings at all times. Please report any suspicious activity or suspicious persons to the Auraria Campus Police Department.

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J. David McSwane
Contact: J. David McSwane