‘Trying to Not Freak Out': Shooting Sends UCLA Students Running for Cover

"I saw a SWAT-looking police officer and he was pointing a big gun and said for everyone to run and get out of the area"

Students scrambled to safety or crouched quietly in classrooms at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Wednesday after two people were killed in a murder-suicide on campus.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said two men were found dead in the engineering building Wednesday morning. Police are investigating the shootings as a homicide and suicide.

The campus was deemed safe about two hours after an emergency alert sent students running for cover.

UCLA senior Bahjat Alirani was getting ready to take an exam in the building where gunfire erupted when he encountered police in the hallway.

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"As soon as I got off the staircase, I saw a SWAT-looking police officer and he was pointing a big gun and and said for everyone to run and get out of the area," Alirani recalled. "I look at my phone and see that the alert was saying 'shooting at Engineering 4.'"

Alirani said he tried to find a hiding place away from the building.

Alex Darouie, a sophomore, told NBC San Diego he was walking from a parking garage on campus when he received an emergency alert from the university.

He rushed to the school music building, just a few hundred feet away from the engineering lab, where he hunkered down in a dark classroom with about 20 other students.

NBC

"Everybody is trying to keep it quiet. The lights are off," he said in a phone interview with NBC San Diego. "Everybody is trying to not freak out right now."

Darouie said he could hear little from inside the classroom — just the sound of students running for cover and police units swarming outside.

Another student, Carrie Rapaport, spoke with NBC San Diego on Twitter while huddled with classmates in the Broad Art Center. She tweeted a photo of a peer using her belt to secure the door.

"Everyone is sitting on the floor in the dark," she told NBC San Diego, adding she could hear helicopters circling overhead.

Pranasha Shrestha, who also tweeted from inside a classroom, posted a photo showing desks and chairs propped against the door.

"Doors open outward with no locks so we had to improvise our own locking mechanism," she captioned the image.

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