The Johnson City Police Department arrested two suspects Tuesday evening in connection with the armed robbery that took place on campus last Monday.
Terrell A. Butler, 20, of 2373 Lakewood Village, and Michael A. Burrell, 18, of 2560 Plymouth Road, are currently being held at the Washington County Detention Center on charges of aggravated robbery and theft over $1,000.
They were also charged in connection with a robbery that occurred off campus.
“We got some tips and information from other people, they gave us names and more or less said they were there,” Public Safety Lt. Mike Orr said. Neither suspect is a student at ETSU. It has not been determined whether Butler or Burrell were one of the gunmen involved in the armed robbery.
Orr said that members of the JCPD are interviewing other possible suspects.
According to the police report, ETSU sophomore Allen Daniels was unloading his vehicle in Lot 11 behind Davis Apartments last Monday at about 12:36 a.m. when a red or maroon vehicle containing five people pulled up beside of him. Two passengers emerged from the rear of the vehicle with their faces covered and each holding a handgun. They pointed the guns at Daniels and ordered him to his knees while they took his backpack and laptop case, which were worth about $1,800.
“We think this was a random opportunity,” Orr said. “He happened to be there, he was by himself, he had property that looked pretty expensive. “I think they had it in their minds that they were going to be getting into something that they shouldn’t be and the opportunity presented itself.”
Students can take actions to protect themselves against armed threats on campus. Orr said that students should refrain from walking by themselves late at night, and should stay in the well-lit areas on campus.
“I know it’s a continuous process of working on the lighting,” he said. “I’ve been here 20 years and it’s vastly improved but [there are] some areas on campus that are a little dingy, so we encourage them [the students] to try to be aware of that.”
Some students on campus reacted with caution after hearing of the armed robbery.
“At first I was a little shaken by it,” freshman and Luntsford resident Lynsey Powell said. “I did try to get home earlier the first few days [after the robbery] and try to notice my surroundings.”
Students caught on campus alone late at night can contact the shuttle services until midnight or the Safe Voyage service. Students can call Public Safety at 439-4480 for a security escort.