Students at one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges woke up to a rude shock last week when a teenage gunman got into a dormitory and knocked a resident on his head before fleeing, a crime the campus security director said was the first in her 25 years at the school.
Brandon Schneider, 18, an Oberlin, Ohio, resident, has been charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery for breaking into Oberlin College's East Hall and brandishing a gun that he allegedly used to hit a male student on the head.
According to the Oberlin Police Department's Facebook page, "On September 12th, officers responded to Oberlin College for a reported armed robbery. The residents reported a male entered their dorm room and attempt to take items from the room. When confronted the male produced a handgun and began waving the weapon. A scuffle ensued, and it was reported the male struck one of the residents in the head with the weapon before fleeing the scene."
The incident happened around 10 p.m. Interviews with witnesses led police three miles away to Schneider's home, where he was arrested the next day. He was taken to the Lorain County Jail and has since been released on $41,000 bond.
Marjorie Burton, Oberlin College Director of Safety and Security, told WKYC TV the robbery was "a first" in her 25 years at the school.
It isn't clear how Schneider got into East Hall. Dorm buildings at the school are locked at all times and can only be accessed using a student ID swipe card.
"We are encouraging students to be careful when they're entering their residence halls, to make sure the door closes and latches behind them," Burton said, adding that students were being urged not to enter buildings "with people they're really not familiar with."
College spokesman Scott Wargo told the Chronicle-Telegram that the student who was hit did not seek medical treatment.
Initial reports said Schneider, who is not a student at Oberlin, had wielded a handgun but police later reported it was a pellet gun.
Since turning 18 and an adult under the law on Jan. 20, Schneider has been charged in four separate cases, according to a review of court records by the Chronicle-Telegram.
Three days after his birthday, he was charged with criminal trespassing. On June 24, he was charged with obstructing official business and menacing. And on Aug. 2, Schneider was again charged with obstructing official business as well as possession of marijuana and purchasing or consuming alcoholic beverages while underage.