Gunshots rang through the air early Sunday morning bringing a homecoming party at a house on South Grant Street to a screeching halt.
The blaring music was soon replaced by police sirens, and the hundreds of partygoers found themselves in the middle of a crime scene.
Within minutes of the shooting, the Bloomington Police Department caught an alleged shooter fleeing the scene with his stolen Glock 26 still in hand. Gabriel Alsman, 20, was arrested for alleged criminal recklessness with a firearm, among other charges. But police believe he wasn’t the only shooter.
BPD Capt. Ryan Pedigo said the department is looking for information to help them find at least one other person.
Pedigo said at least 30 shots were fired, leaving two people wounded. A 23-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital on Sunday. The man was then transported by helicopter to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
An IU-Notify alert was not issued Sunday morning following the shooting. Ben Hunter, associate vice president for IU Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, said an alert was not issued because the supervisor on duty received information that the incident occurred off-campus.
The house where the party occurred, however, was an IU property. IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said the university owns the off-campus rental property.
The tenants of the home were asked to willingly terminate their lease or face eviction Wednesday.
No one has provided information on what started the shooting, Pedigo said. The shooting occurred at a large party thrown by a group of four people. Pedigo said the group looks for venues and throws large parties promoted through social media.
Pedigo said body camera footage showed college-aged people at the scene.
The hosts of the party told police around an hour into the party, they became aware of a drunk, argumentative man waving a gun around. Pedigo said the hosts identified the man as Alsman.
The hosts told police Alsman was kicked out of the party. They said he then caused trouble outside and had to be restrained by his friends.
Pedigo said two groups of acquaintances started arguing back and forth outside. He said the groups separated and walked away from each other. Witnesses told police when the groups broke up, they heard gunshots.
Pedigo said officers asked nearby people for a possible reason for the shooting. He said they told officers there were two opposing groups from Indianapolis that got into an argument.
Hunter said IU will not issue an IU-Notify alert that is not on campus or IU-owned property unless it’s a serious, continued threat to the university.
IU Police Department was notified that BPD captured an alleged shooter within one or two minutes of arriving on scene, which he said mitigated ongoing and continuous threat protocol.
He said BPD asked IUPD for mutual aid in setting up a perimeter around the scene.
Pedigo said there were multiple shooters involved, and they are looking for information to help them find at least one other person.
Hunter said the supervisor did not have the information that there were still other shooters not in custody at the time. Based on the information known at the time, IUPD didn’t believe there was a serious and continued threat.
“Likely if they had that information and someone was in the area, unknown or specifically told they were headed toward campus, then at that point, he would have initiated the IU-Notify protocol,” Hunter said.
IU junior Sarah Lloyd lives in an apartment building at the intersection of Second Street and South Grant Street, just south of where the shooting happened. She was woken up at 2 a.m. by the sound of gunshots and screams.
“Waking up to hearing gunshots is scary enough,” Lloyd said. “But not knowing what happened until two days after the fact is even scarier.”
Lloyd said she waited for an IU-Notify alert that she never received. She said she then went to Twitter for information and found very little.
She said most of the information she learned about the shooting came from just outside of her window.
“I specifically remember a girl screaming, ‘Everyone’s dead,’” Lloyd said. “‘Everyone’s dead.’”
She said she was too stressed to sleep and didn’t end up falling back asleep until around 4:30 a.m.
“I would rather get a barrage of text messages or phone calls and be informed than to sit up all night not knowing what’s going,” Lloyd said.
Hunter said there is an after-action review on every critical incident, and they will review this incident to adjust protocols.
Senior Grant Mitchell and his roommates have to move out of the house where the shooting took place less than a week ago. The house is leased by IU Real Estate, and Mitchell said the university didn’t respond to the tenants about the shooting for days.
Carney said the decision to not issue an IU-Notify alert had little to do with the ownership of the property and more to do with the facts that were presented about the arrest of a shooter.
“The house where the party occurred and where at least one of the people who was shot went to seek assistance is an IU property,” Carney said. “But now the shooting took place on the street — it was not actually in the house.”
Mitchell said they were told that because they were throwing a party at the house, they were creating an environment where a shooting could occur. He said the man with the gun was kicked out of the house, and the shooting happened outside off the property. One person who was shot went into the house seeking assistance.
Carney said the threat was the shooting itself, not someone seeking assistance in the house.
Though the shooting took place outside off the property, it still became a matter of eviction.
“It gets into details regarding their situation that I really can’t get into,” Carney said.
The first time IU Real Estate made contact was a couple days after the shooting, and it was an email to notify Mitchell and his roommates of a scheduled tour for future tenants.
Mitchell said he felt like the university didn’t care.
“We’ve all been shaken up,” Mitchell said. “We couldn’t have possibly imagined that something like this would occur.”
While Mitchell was out of town Wednesday, his roommates met with university officials, Counseling and Psychological Services representatives and members of IU Real Estate to discuss their lease and future at the house on South Grant Street.
Mitchell said his roommates and the officials discussed the options of a mutual termination agreement or eviction.
Carney said mutual termination would allow the tenants to terminate the lease without any penalties and avoid the eviction process.
Carney didn’t comment on what circumstances led to the mutual termination.
“Well, it’s taking place after all of that happened,” Carney said. “But I can’t really comment specifically on any particular reason.”
The roommates have until Friday to be out of the house.
Mitchell said Kathy Adams Reister, the associate vice provost for Student Affairs, made him feel forced to go with the mutual termination agreement. Mitchell said Adams Reister said if they went with the eviction, there would be repercussions, and it would go on their permanent records and make it difficult to rent in the future.
Under the mutual termination agreement, the group was offered emergency housing and counseling services. Mitchell said they are trying to find friends to live with instead.
He said he doesn’t want to get counseling from CAPS because he feels like CAPS has sided with the university since representatives sat in on the meeting Wednesday.
“How the hell do they care about our mental health when they’re kicking us out of our home with four days’ notice?” Mitchell said.
The roommates haven’t been given any updates from the police on the investigation. Mitchell is out of town until Sunday, and he said he hasn’t heard back on if they can have more time to move out.
“It’s distressing,” Mitchell said. “I’m at the end of my rope.”
As of now, the roommates are still trying to find places to live and storage units for their belongings.
Disclaimer: Sarah Lloyd used to work for the Indiana Daily Student.
Additional reporting for this story was done by Ty Vinson.