When peace officers headed to a dorm on the Mohawk Valley Community College campus this weekend, they thought they'd be investigated a report of smoking. What they found was much more serious. Our Sarah Blazonis has more.
UTICA, N.Y. -- It was a smoking complaint that led peace officers to Deandre Young's dorm room at Mohawk Valley Community College early Sunday, but it was the sawed-off shotgun found there that led to his arrest.
"We're not really sure where the gun came from or how he got it into the dorm. We understand from the officers that he had it concealed under his bed," said Matthew Snyder, MVCC's director of marketing and communications.
The officers called a Utica Police patrolman working on campus and the 18-year-old student was arrested. No ammunition was found during the search of Young's room.
MVCC says such incidents are extremely rare and students say they're shocked this could happen on their campus.
"That's scary to me, believe it or not," said Jovan McCray, a student who lives on campus. "I'm not cool with guns in general, so it's just one of those things that I'm not too cool with that being on campus."
The 500 students who live on campus do not have to pass through metal detectors to get to their rooms, but officials say peace, campus, and police officers are regularly on patrol.
"It really promotes a campus environment where people look out for each other and people know they have security on hand to help," said Snyder.
Students say they also take steps to watch out for themselves.
"In my own room I feel safe, but that's because I can lock the door," said McCray. "Otherwise, I'm always cautious walking out here."
Deandre Young has been charged with criminal possession for a weapon in the third degree.
MVCC officials say disciplinary actions for such an offense can range from removal from housing to expulsion.