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Statement regarding incident on October 10, 2018

On the morning of October 10, 2018, there was an incident at Madison Children’s Museum involving a confused individual entering the museum—who we later learned was carrying a gun. Thanks to our professional staff team, acting in concert with Madison Police, it ended in a safe outcome for the museum and our visitors.

Luke Schultz, our facilities director, was alerted to the visitor’s presence, engaged him, and persuaded him to agree that Madison Police should come and help him (he wanted help finding his car, and also wanted to know where he could find a laundromat). Police were called. They arrived and asked if he had a weapon. He said “yes” and the police took his gun and disengaged it. They arrested him. He did not have a concealed carry permit—and it is clearly posted that guns are not allowed in the building.

At no point did the individual threaten anyone. We are all extremely grateful to our visitor services team, who handled this in the best manner to reduce and manage any possible threat. Museum staff are regularly trained to respond to threats and emergencies. Their training, knowledge of policy and protocols, and excellent judgment came together for this good outcome.Our chief concern now is to learn from this incident–both from what worked and what can be improved. We will consult with Madison Police and our private security firm to evaluate the entire incident. Our video surveillance will prove useful in our analysis.

We are proud that Madison Children’s Museum offers such a welcoming environment for families and children to play and learn together. It’s a balancing act to create that warm welcome while also maintaining a safe, secure space. Both are vitally important and we pledge to remain vigilant on both fronts.Questions, comments, or concerns should be directed to Jonathan Zarov, (608) 335-2783, director of marketing & communications or Deb Gilpin, (608) 354-0553, president and CEO.

Posted October 10, 2018, 4:20 p.m.

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