A Long Beach Police Officer was involved in a shooting on the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus around 5:30PM today resulting in an alleged gunman being struck by return fire and being transported to an area hospital.
Two LBPD officers observed a couple of people engaged in an argument in a parking lot on the campus and after the officers approached one individual fled on foot while wearing a backpack. The individual, who is believed to be an enrolled student, entered a mechanical engineering classroom that was in summer session and exited through the classroom’s front door. LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell said that when the officer followed, the suspect was waiting for him and allegedly opened fire.
“The officer believed the suspect shot at him first and the evidence we have indicates that’s what happened,” McDonnell said. “We’re very early in this. We still need to do officer interviews, witness interviews and to be able to look at and process the crime scene.”
President of LBCC, Eloy Oakley, said that its estimated that the classroom had approximately 6-12 students inside when the incident took place, all of which are being interviewed by the LBPD. Although classes were in session across the campus, no other classes were affected by the shooting and night courses will go on as scheduled.
Long Beach Post Instagram follower Chris Larini (@chrisograms) took to social media to express his disbelief that students were not notified of the shooting on campus. “I’m a current student at LBCC and I'm really shocked that we didn’t get form of notification warning us of an on campus shooting,” Larini commented.
According to CNN, there have been over 70 school shootings in the 18 months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Their statistics were obtained from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, a group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When asked if there would be increased security at the school after the incident, Oakley said, “the Long Beach Police Department is our security, we’re very fortunate that way.”
Oakley also stated that the college would be providing students with any form of counseling they might need when they return to school Monday.
The suspect, whom McDonnell said was listed in stable condition, is expected to be treated and booked tonight. McDonnell acknowledged although the situation could’ve been much worse, they were fortunate that the only injury sustained was to the suspect, noting that a shooting on the LBCC campus was very rare. “This is a very safe campus,” McDonnell said. “It’s a good place to come to school.”
Above left: LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell addresses press at the LBCC PCC campus.