Breaking: Suspected gunman on campus

by Oct 10, 2013 10:11 am Tags: , , , ,

This morning SJSU was put on alert after an Alert SJSU message was sent to the campus community reading, "man with a gun call — police checking Sweeney Hall — shelter in place," at 9:22 a.m.

A second message at 10:07 a.m. stated, "report of white male, all black clothes, possible handgun in Sweeney Hall. Sweeney Hall shelter in place, others stay out of area, rest of campus open."

Despite messages stating there was a alleged gunman, at 10:56 a.m. SJSU sent a message stating " A thorough search of Sweeney Hall did not reveal anything. Sweeney Hall is open for business. Resume normal activity."

According to Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU media relations director, there was a tip from a "credible source" that there was an alleged gunman in Sweeney Hall earlier this morning.

Maria Velazquez said her daughter, Brianna, was in MacQuarrie Hall and sent her a text stating that there was an alleged gunman in the building while she was on her way to campus to pick her up.

Brianna Velazquez said she hadn't been in a lock down since high school.

"This is a little bit more nerve-wracking because we didn't know exactly what was going on just that a shooter could've been in the building," she said. "We could hear the police officers walking around, but we just didn't know … the scariest part was just not knowing what was going on."

Maureen Smith, a professor in child and adolescent development, said she is worried about her students and faculty and hoping everyone is not "freaking out and scared."

She said the toddler lab in Sweeney Hall was also locked down and the children were with professionals who have all been trained for "an active shooter on campus" situation.

A senior social science multi-subject major said her "baby" brother, a freshman at SJSU, sent her a text stating "they are barricaded in and that they are OK for now," she said."I'm freaking out, this is his first year here and to have this kind of experience right away is kind of freaky, and I don't want him to have a tainted view of the school, but it scares me because he's my baby brother … I've got to look out for my little one."

Students in class in Sweeney Hall were not told to evacuate immediately, but they were given the option and many took that option.

Roxanne Moreno, a junior liberal studies major, said she was walking to class and walking up the stairs an officer walked behind her and said the stairs were clear on his walkie-talkie.

Upon hearing that, she said she assumed everything was "OK", and she went on to class.

Twenty minutes into class she said her classmate received a text about a gunman and after that she didn't feel safe, so she left.

"I was thinking there was a guy in the hallways with a gun, so I was scared to go out, but I was scared to stay there, so I just decided to go out," Moreno said.

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