Mississippi State says suspected gunman in custody

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘People were in a mad dash': Mississippi State University freshman in custody after threatening suicide and attacks on campus: cops.

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi State University officials say the school’s police force arrested a freshman after he made threats to kill himself and others that sparked a campus lockdown Thursday. However, authorities said they found no gun and believed no shots were ever fired. “The university received what we believed to be a credible threat,” MSU spokesman Sid Salter said, explaining why the university issued an alert for an “active shooter.” He said officials didn’t want to wait to issue an alert until someone was injured. That threat prompted a campus alert at the 20,000-student university just after 10 a.m., prompting students, faculty and staff to lock themselves into offices and classrooms. The initial reports sent put students and faculty into a mass panic, with many rapidly barricading themselves while others ran to safety or fled the campus. The chaotic scene was best captured in a photo tweeted by junior Tyler Brain, showing a table and nearly a dozen desks jammed in front of a classroom door.

The incident came 10 days into the school’s fall semester, and just one day after the televised fatal shootings of two Virginia TV reporters by a deranged former colleague. Brain told the News that, as some of his classmates bolted to barricade their classroom, others were “freaking out or calling whoever they wanted to be calling or bawling their eyes out.” During that time, students kept seeing conflicting reports on social media of the gunman’s location on campus. It’s unclear how the false reports of a second shooter emerged, but they pushed some students into self-imposed lockdown or sent them fleeing from campus, fifth-year senior Stefan Balcer told the Daily News. “People were in a mad dash for their cars to get off campus,” said Balcer, 22, who is studying architecture. “Students were rushing to get off campus as soon as possible.”

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