Firearms and theft: Crime rates increase across campus


Grace Monk, Editor

On Saturday, March 26, at approximately 2:47 a.m., gunshots were fired near 8th and Market Street. Several Viterbo students reported the incident around 4 a.m., and shell casings were found near the Student Union on Franciscan Way.  

Students received an alert from Campus Safety and Security at 5:26 a.m. notifying them of the incident and asking for information. Campus Safety and Security shared information and surveillance footage with the La Crosse Police Department. Limited information was provided at the time, leaving both students and parents worried.  

The following day on March 27, students received an update on the incident. Students were told that the suspect had been arrested and that Campus Safety and Security would continue to work with the police department to ensure student safety. The Lumen sat down with Campus Safety and Security Director, Adam Malin to discuss the incident. 

Malin shared that the “gentleman that was shooting his firearm off on-campus was not targeting anybody,” but he did shoot at multiple locations in the area. Malin and the police department were on site shortly after the incident. The alerts did not specify whether the shots were fired on campus, but according to Malin, they were.  

Malin was unable to provide further information but felt that “the Police Department did a fantastic job with following up and identifying” the suspect. Malin encourages students to report firearm use to police, even when students are off campus.  

On Tuesday, March 29, Viterbo faculty received another alert regarding a stolen vehicle. The alert was not sent to students, but the information was made public on the campus safety website. On Monday, March 28, a faculty member’s vehicle was stolen near the Reinhart Center in parking lot M. The vehicle was reported that afternoon to Campus Safety and Security. 

The following afternoon, another report was made regarding an employee’s car that was broken into. Both incidents occurred around 2:15 p.m., and Campus Safety and Security believes the incidents were perpetrated by the same individual. The investigation is on-going and no further information has been provided. Faculty were encouraged to lock their cars and remove personal belongings to avoid future theft. Campus Safety and Security encourages anyone with information to contact them. 

According to Malin, the vehicle incidents were not caught on camera, making the investigation difficult. He said that crime rates increase during the spring and summer months, and encourages members of the Viterbo community to “lock vehicles, lock up bikes, and never leave personal belongings unattended.”  

Campus Safety and Security will always notify students and staff of immediate threats and dangers, but not every crime. Students and staff should take necessary precautions and report incidents immediately. Campus Safety and Security can be reached at (608) 796-3911 or (608) 780-1582. Viterbo members can also contact Adam Malin directly at or the La Crosse Police Department at (608) 782-7575.