Emailed threat sparks lockdown at CSULB; suspect in custody

Editor’s note: Police on Tuesday, Oct. 8 said they arrested a new suspect. Read an updated story here.

Cal State Long Beach officials locked down the campus after they learned of an email threatening “acts of violence” Monday afternoon.

Police, however, quickly found the person suspected of sending the email and took her into custody without any struggle, authorities said.

“The suspect is now in custody and there is no current threat to our campus,” Provost Brian Jersky said at a news conference.

Campus Police Chief Fernando Solorzano said police have good reason to believe it was a female student who made the threat. They believe she had an appointment at the Student Success Center, prompting police to focus the investigation there, Solorzano said.

Police on the campus of Cal State Long Beach during a campus threat on Monday, Oct. 7. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

Authorities declined to describe the threat in much detail.

“It didn’t involve weapons, but it was acts of violence,” according to Solorzano.

He said police were in the process of interviewing the suspect but believe the threat was an isolated event.

The threatening email came in around 2:10 p.m., and by 3:40 p.m., investigators had decided it was credible and sent out a campus alert warning people to stay away or shelter in place, according to Solorzano.

Senior Mark Ortiz-Payne said he was by the Student Success Center when he and others were notified to take cover. He said it was the first time he’s experienced a lockdown on campus.

“We were sort of corralled toward the back of the room and everyone was confused and nervous because we didn’t have a lot of info and nobody knew what was going on,” he said.

Authorities sent the lockdown alert out of an “abundance of caution,” according to CSULB spokesman Gregory Woods.

“We understand that this type of order is alarming, but the university must take these threats seriously,” Jersky said.

Around campus, students and professors posted pictures and videos of classrooms barricaded with furniture and school supplies stacked against doors.

Some students said they were concerned because their classroom doors didn’t lock from the inside. A group from one class said the teacher had trouble finding the key to lock the door. Others said the blinds didn’t work in some classrooms, making them worry about being exposed.

Campus police at CSULB. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

PREVIOUSLY| A shelter-in-place order has been lifted on the campus of Cal State Long Beach after officials said they received a “credible threat” Monday afternoon.

Campus police said in a tweet that the “sole suspect” was in custody, but any details about the nature of the threat weren’t immediately available.

Authorities had sent out an alert Monday afternoon out of an “abundance of caution,” according to CSULB spokesman Gregory Woods.

Senior Mark Ortiz-Payne said he was by the Student Success Center when he and others were notified to take cover and shelter in place. He said it was the first time he’s experienced a lockdown on campus.

“We were sort of corralled toward the back of the room and everyone was confused and nervous because we didn’t have a lot of info and nobody knew what was going on,” he said

Students and instructors inside classrooms were posting pictures and videos of furniture and classroom supplies stacked against doors.

Some students said they were concerned because their classroom doors didn’t lock from the inside. A group from one class said the teacher had trouble finding the key to lock the door. Others said the blinds didn’t work in some classrooms, making them worry about being exposed.

PREVIOUSLY| Cal State Long Beach sent an emergency alert of a “credible threat” this afternoon. Everyone on campus has been asked to move indoors and shelter-in-place.

Cal State Long Beach spokesman Gregory Woods said the campus has decided to shelter in place due to an “abundance of caution.” Details of the threat were not immediately available, but police said they were “actively working to resolve the threat.”

The campus will be posting updates at www.csulb.edu/alert.

One instructor said the campus has been on lockdown since 3:48 p.m.

People are asked to stay away from campus until further notice.

Students and instructors inside classrooms are posting pictures and videos of furniture and classroom supplies stacked against doors, as many of them don’t lock from the inside.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].
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