At about 1 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 13, the University Police Department sent an MSU Alert via text message, email, Facebook and the MSU homepage warning students to avoid the SUB while police investigated a stabbing. Staff locked their doors and warned students outside the SUB not to enter the building.
Dean of Students Matt Caires was on the second floor of the SUB when the 36-year-old stabbing victim came in, presumably looking for treatment. The student was bleeding from the neck and claimed to have been in a fight. A email notification from MSU Chief of Police Robert Putzke stated that UPD responded to the report within a minute and the victim was transported to the hospital.
Police issue MSU Alerts when they believe there is an immediate threat to students. “At that point, they thought there was … the police always err on public safety.” Caires said. He went room-to-room in the SUB giving an all-clear 20 minutes after the first alert went out. “We take safety incredibly seriously and we try to communicate in times of crisis,” Caires said.
A third alert issued at 1:53 p.m. stated that MSU police had two suspects in custody. At the hospital, the victim said the incident occurred at Family and Graduate Housing, not in the SUB. The suspects were taken into custody at a residence in that neighborhood. Putzke said in his email that the incident resulted from “a dispute between individuals” and that there was no existing threat to the community.
Talena Fran Shoulderblade, 25, was charged with felony counts of assault with a weapon and tampering with evidence; her bail was set at $25,000 by Gallatin County Justice Court Judge Rick West. The co-defendant, Derek Dexter Shoulderblade, 21, was charged with misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer. He remains in the Gallatin County jail on $500 bond and will not make a court appearance.