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Suspect in crisis taken into custody after lockdown at Central Washington University

The university resumed normal operations on Sunday after police arrested the suspect.

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — After the incident on Saturday evening that resulted in a lockdown at the Central Washington University (CWU) Student Union and Recreation Center, the school said the suspect was taken into protective custody.

According to the CWU Facebook page, the recreation center was put into a temporary lockdown for the night on Saturday as a precaution measure after CWU police were negotiating with a suspect holding a knife.

Police said the suspect was experiencing a mental crisis at the time of the incident.

The school said no students or staff were in danger during the incident, and the recreation center remained closed throughout Saturday night. 

The suspect was isolated and taken into custody at about 10 p.m. on Saturday, according to a statement by CWU President Jim Wohlpart.

"The CWU Police Department, with support from the Ellensburg Police Department and the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, kept the situation from escalating, and our emergency communications team provided regular updates to the campus community and the public-at-large," Wohlpart said in part.

An alert was posted on CWU social media pages and sent to students to avoid the recreation center and surrounding areas until the situation could be resolved. 

Wohlpart said the school went back to normal operations on Sunday and is providing counselors to help those individuals who need assistance after the incident.

"In times like these, I am mindful of the importance of community and the way in which we take care of each other," Wohlpart said in a statement. "We must acknowledge the significant role that our mental health professionals and police officers play in this culture of care, and we must recognize our own part in creating a world that is more soulful, more caring, more sacred."