Los Angeles – Two people were killed in a shooting on the UCLA campus Wednesday and officials put the campus on lockdown during the investigation. The Los Angeles police chief said in a news release that the two males, whose identities have not been released, were killed in a murder-suicide. Police officers found a weapon along with an apparent suicide note, The Washington Post reported.
Residents near the university were urged to avoid the campus. Because the UCLA’s engineering building is located in a densely populated area, CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said locking down such a large university in an urban zone was a very difficult task.
The incident, which occurred in the week before final exams, was contained and there is no continuing threat on the UCLA’s 419-campus, according to Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Police officers began looking at students and their bags shortly after they arrived at the campus.
The situation led large groups of police, dozens of squad cars and SWAT officers to the campus after an active shooter in or near an engineering building was reported, Los Angeles Police Officer Tomy Im declared, as reported by CNN. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also appeared on the scene.
The murder-suicide took place in a small office, as reported by The Washington Post. UCLA Police Chief James Herren sad it was unclear whether the two people killed were staff members or students. There will be more officers on duty as the Los Angeles police issued a tactical alert across the city.
“We got the alert and a woman said ‘This is not a joke, everyone get to the back of the dining hall because we have to stay away from the windows’,” Freshman Teddi Mattox told CNN. “We’re crowded back here, we’ve been here for at least an hour and a half. People are crying, they’re nervous, they’re shaking.”
The incident occurred when she was getting breakfast in the cafeteria and said she did not stop shaking for at least one hour and a half.
Here at in our building at UCLA, we're on lockdown and currently safe. Now there is a citywide tactical alert. pic.twitter.com/EeTC7JhwWr
— Moira (@MoiraKalel) June 1, 2016
Fuentes said the nature of the shooting was unknown and that local police would be in charge of the investigation if it was a personal issue between two students. If it happens to be a terrorism-related situation, the FBI would lead the process, Fuentes explained.
President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting, The White House said, and spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was updated during his flight to Indiana for public appearances.
LAPD clearing all buildings and students coming out calmly during this frightening situation at UCLA pic.twitter.com/s80VfLRiP5
— Tara Wallis (@tarawallis) June 1, 2016
Not the first violent event at UCLA
Two male students faced charges in the death of a fourth-year psychology student called Andre DelVesco, whose body was found las September in a burning apartment located just a block from campus.
The school, located on the west side of Los Angeles, has about 43,000 students and represents a flagship of the University of California system. The UCLA claims the school is the “the birthplace of the Internet” because the very first transmission was sent in 1969 from the Boelter Hall in the engineering school.