A campus shooting at UCLA Wednesday morning left two men dead in a murder-suicide that sent thousands of students running for safety and barricading themselves in classrooms, authorities said.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed that the shooter was one of the two men killed in a small office in a building in the campus’ engineering complex.
”The campus is now safe,” Beck told reporters in a news conference shortly after noon.
The shooting just after 10 a.m. prompted a campus lockdown and a massive response from local and federal law enforcement.
Un a campuswide alert, university officials cautioned students to remain inside unless instructed by police to leave. Beck said police were in the process of bringing the crisis to an orderly end.
Authorities did not identify the victims and a motive was not immediately clear.,
Helicopter news footage showed students walking in a line with their hands above their heads as armed police officers scoured the campus.
tudents hid in buildings across campus after the shooting. Some secured doors with belts or created makeshift barricades in classrooms as word of the incident spread.
Graduate student Jason La, 33, was sitting in Boelter Hall taking a test about 9:40 a.m. when an officer walked in and told the class to lock the door and barricade it.
About a minute later the class was told to leave. Students began to move out of the building, then began running when an officer yelled at them to get away from the building, La said.
Sean Lynch, the son of a professor who works in the engineering building, was exchanging text messages with his father as the campus was placed on lockdown. Lynch said his father was in a colleague’s office and heard three gunshots but did not see the shooter.
Student Mehwish Khan, 21, said she ran to the Charles E. Young Research Library, where many other students were hiding. At around 10:45 a.m., she said, she and others had barricaded themselves in a restroom where they texted family and friends who were all giving different information about possible shooters.
“We are getting messages from all over,” she told a Times reporter in a text message.
Asked how she was doing, Khan said, “Okay. Just scared. And scared for all of my friends.”
Many students spoke with reporters only via text to adhere to UCLA protocol that asks students not to speak on their phones in such situations, they said.
Rafi Sands, vice president of UCLA’s student government, said he and about 30 other students used their belts to secure their classroom door after news of the shooter spread.
Sands, 20, of Oakland, said several different accounts of the shooting were funneling across campus through text messages and social media, and it took several minutes for the campus community to realize the seriousness of the situation.
“We get a lot of Bruin Alerts for small things,” he said. “It took a while for everyone to realize this is serious.”
Nick Terry drove to his architecture class from Silver Lake expecting to take a final at 11 and give a presentation at noon.
His vision for the day was quickly shattered when he arrived to find there was an active shooting situation on campus.
Terry, 29, said he felt more anger than fear.
“It just seems so pointless,” he said. “Two days left of school and it’s going to end on this note?”
Staff writers Richard Winton, Sarah Parvini and Hailey Branson-Potts contributed to this report.