SAN JOSE (CBS / AP / BCN) – Officers did not find a gunman during a search of the San Jose City College campus Tuesday evening after receiving unconfirmed reports of a person with a gun on campus, San Jose police said.
The campus was locked down around 4:30 p.m. after officers received a tip of a gunman walking on campus, authorities said. Students and staff were forced to shelter-in-place as officers conducted a room-by-room search of all campus buildings.
“I received information about a text message that someone allegedly had a gun,” said Barbara Kavalier, president of San Jose City College.
Around 6:00 p.m., students and staff in some areas allowed to leave the campus and classes were cancelled for the evening.
A wave of students was expected to arrive for evening classes at 6:15 p.m., but they had been notified via text alert that classes were cancelled.
By around 6:30 p.m. the lockdown and search were focused on the college’s technology building and neighboring buildings, school officials said.
Police completed their search around 7:45 p.m. There had been no reports of gunfire during the lockdown, police said.
San Jose police said all of the information they have received through their 911 call center has been third-hand reports and they have not spoken to anyone who has confirmed seeing a gunman.
Professor Charles Heimler told KCBS he was in as office on the bottom floor of the Cesar Chavez Library when he heard commotion outside around 5 p.m. He said the staff was herding students into one of the computer labs to get them out of sight from the library’s main doors.
Heimler said they received word that a gunman or shooter was on campus. The campus was then placed on lockdown, with any students walking around being pulled into classrooms.
“We were told that no one goes in or out until further notice,” he said. Heimler estimated that 200 to 300 students were locked down in the library alone.
Students Jannet Lara, 22, and Nathaniel Guevara, 20, were in class when the lockdown went into effect.
“We just locked the doors, turned out the lights and got under the tables,” Lara said. “I didn’t know what to think. I just wanted to go home.”
City college business student Javier Moreno, 33, of San Jose, said he had been told that the whole campus was closed due to reports of a person with a handgun on campus.
“We just know it’s not good with helicopters overhead and about 20 to 30 police here,” Moreno said.
Kavelier said school officials did not know how many students were on campus and no suspect description was immediately available.
According to university officials, classes will resume as normal on Wednesday.
Founded in 1921, about 18,000 students enroll in the school every year, according to the school’s website.
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