Young Man Surrenders in CSUN Gun Scare - NBC Southern California

Young Man Surrenders in CSUN Gun Scare

Library set to reopen at normal time Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    CSUN Warns of Possible Gunman on Campus

    Campus police search the library at California State University, Northridge after a report of a possible gunman on campus. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011)

    A young man who may have muttered something about a gun in the California State University, Northridge library, triggering a daylong law enforcement response, was detained Tuesday night after turning himself to police.
      
    A university spokeswoman said the person was being questioned by police. The "person of interest" was described earlier Tuesday as white, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with short spiky hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with the words "human rights violation, Carmen Ramos Chandler of CSUN said.

    The name of the suspect was not released and at 10 p.m. police still had not booked the man into custody.

    Police used bomb-sniffing dogs Tuesday at the campus library to search for a man who allegedly indicated he had a gun on campus, according to police.

    "So they're going to go through there with the bomb dogs, and make sure that there are no weapons or no devices -- we have no information that there are, but we just want to make sure because part of what the suspect mentioned -- the individual -- was that he had a gun," said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese before the suspect turned himself in to authorities.

    "LAPD and CHP and campus police had searched the library and checked the campus and found nothing threatening," said Carmen Ramos Chandler of Cal State Northridge Police around 5 p.m.  Everything was back to normal by 9 p.m., Chandler added.

    Earlier in the day, CSUN campus security released a photo of the suspect taken before he entered the library and allegedly started making threats and acting oddly. At 9:30 p.m. Chandler said it was still under investigation whether the released photo was of the man who turned himself in to police.

    "No one saw a gun, but it was a precautionary measure just in case," said Chandler.

    Someone had approached the man, who appeared to be "in distress," and asked if he was OK, Chandler told City News Service. Apparently, that is when he indicated he had a weapon, though none was seen.

    CSUN police warned faculty, staff and students to be on the lookout for the man. Anyone with information can contact police at 818-677-2111.

    The gun scare started with initial reports to university police about 10:30 a.m. The school sent out an emergency notification about 11:50 a.m. The school also used robo-callers to give updates to students.

    "I wouldn't say freaked out," said freshman Juan Carlos Cortez. "It is nerve-racking to have someone in the library with a gun but stay calm. That's always the key."

    By about 1 p.m., a preliminary search of the building had been completed, and the man had not been found, Chandler said. Officials requested that a police canine team conduct a search, said Chandler.

    "...we are continuing to closely monitor the situation on campus. The campus community has been helpful in providing leads, and we are following up on all of them," wrote the university in a 4:51 p.m. update.

    The rest of the university remained open, although anyone who felt uncomfortable was allowed to leave campus, according to the school's website.

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    Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the man threatened to take people out. The specific wording of the man's threat has not been verified.