The Bloomingtonian

Man barricades himself in hotel room at IMU

BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: Members of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond after Cecil L. Gilbert, who is unhoused, barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union building at Indiana University on January 3, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Police were dispatched after Gilbert, who wasn’t a guest in room 107, refused to leave, and made threats against police. Finally, after several hours, CIRT used teargas before Gilbert was taken into custody around 2 a.m., on January 4, 2022. Gilbert has a long criminal history, including a recent charge of battery by means of a deadly weapon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Correction: BPD Capt. Ryan Pedigo says teargas was not used Tuesday morning.

After members of the Indiana University police encountered Cecil L. Gilbert staying in room 107, where he wasn’t a guest, at the Indiana Memorial Union hotel Monday. He then made threats, and thus began an hours-long standoff.

The Critical Incident Response Team was dispatched, and the Bearcat armored vehicle arrived, along with the CIRT team. A few students watched and documented the scene with phones.

A CIRT sniper took a position on a lawn along 7th Street, and police could be seen scurrying while carrying rifles. The area was cleared of media and bystanders after that.

Members of the Indiana University Police Department and the Indiana State Police helped block 7th Street as some, still oblivious to the incident, continued to attempt driving down the street. A woman later bicycled past CIRT members, as a calm quiet settled as CIRT continued to negotiate with the man barricaded in a room.

Finally, the man was taken into custody, and the Bloomington Fire Department was called to help clear the air inside the hotel. Members of the CIRT team soon left the building, and some were coughing. Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo did not get into specifics on what non-lethal technique was used against the suspect, but he said it wasn’t teargas.

A quick look at Indiana Mycase showed Gilbert long history of encounters with law enforcement. And has a recent charge of battery with a deadly weapon.

Indiana University Police Deputy Chief Shannon Bunger release the following information to the media early Tuesday morning:

Barricaded Suspect Taken Into Custody

On Monday Jan. 3, at 8:23 P.M., the Indiana University Police Department dispatch center received a call from Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel management about a possible disturbance in one of the hotel rooms. The person calling from the IMU advised that other guests heard someone making threats from inside room 107.  Officers were dispatched to the first floor of the hotel at the IMU. 

Officers arrived on the floor and proceeded to room 107.  This room did not have any guests registered for the evening. When they arrived, they could hear at least one male voice from inside the room.  One officer went by the door of the room and they could hear the male say, “Oh the cops are here.” The male then made a statement that he was not going to come out of the room and the cops were there to get him.

 At this time, the officers backed up, and secured each end of the hallway.  The officers continued to talk with the male and get him to come out of the room.  Members from the Critical Incident Response Team and members of the Crisis Negotiations Team arrived on scene. 

After several hours of negotiations and several attempts to get the male to surrender, members of the CIRT team applied non-lethal techniques to attempt to gain voluntary compliance.  The subject identified as Cecil L. Gilbert of Bloomington was taken into custody on Jan 4, at 1:37 A.M.  No one else was in the room with Gilbert.  After a search of the room, no weapons were located, and Gilbert did not have any weapons in his possession when he was taken into custody. 

There is no further information to release at this time.

Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo released the following information Tuesday morning about CIRT’s involvement in the incident:

“BPD has received several inquiries about our involvement in the situation on the Indiana University campus last night. Below is a summary of BPD’s involvement:


On 1/3/2022 at approximately 9:00 p.m., the Indiana University Police Department contacted the Bloomington Police Department and requested that the BPD Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond to the Indiana Memorial Union. IUPD stated that a man had barricaded himself inside an unsecured guest room at the Memorial Union and was claiming to have family held hostage inside the room. Further, the man had reportedly advised officers that he was armed with an AK-47 rifle. 


BPD’s CIRT did respond to the scene along with the BPD Hostage Negotiation Team. Negotiators were able to eventually make verbal contact with the man, but the man refused to exit the room. He again advised officers that he was armed with an “automatic weapon” and continued to make threats about using the weapon. Non-lethal techniques were eventually utilized at approximately 1:36 a.m. and the man then exited the room and was taken into custody without injury. The scene was secured and turned over to custody of the IUPD. CIRT members cleared from the scene with no further involvement. All questions about criminal charges should be directed to the Indiana University Police Department.”

BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: Members of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond after Cecil L. Gilbert, who is unhoused, barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union building at Indiana University on January 3, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Police were dispatched after Gilbert, who wasn’t a guest in room 107, refused to leave, and made threats against police. Finally, after several hours CIRT used teargas before Gilbert was taken into custody around 2 a.m., on January 4, 2022. Gilbert has a long criminal history, including a recent charge of battery by means of a deadly weapon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: Members of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond after Cecil L. Gilbert, who is unhoused, barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union building at Indiana University on January 3, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Police were dispatched after Gilbert, who wasn’t a guest in room 107, refused to leave, and made threats against police. Finally, after several hours, CIRT used teargas before Gilbert was taken into custody around 2 a.m., on January 4, 2022. Gilbert has a long criminal history, including a recent charge of battery by means of a deadly weapon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: Members of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond after Cecil L. Gilbert, who is unhoused, barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union building at Indiana University on January 3, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Police were dispatched after Gilbert, who wasn’t a guest in room 107, refused to leave, and made threats against police. Finally, after several hours, CIRT used teargas before Gilbert was taken into custody around 2 a.m., on January 4, 2022. Gilbert has a long criminal history, including a recent charge of battery by means of a deadly weapon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – JANUARY 03: Members of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) respond after Cecil L. Gilbert, who is unhoused, barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union building at Indiana University on January 3, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Police were dispatched after Gilbert, who wasn’t a guest in room 107, refused to leave, and made threats against police. Finally, after several hours, CIRT used teargas before Gilbert was taken into custody around 2 a.m., on January 4, 2022. Gilbert has a long criminal history, including a recent charge of battery by means of a deadly weapon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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