A Philadelphia college was placed on lockdown for about 45 minutes Tuesday morning after reports emerged of a gunman on campus. However, those reports turned out to be false, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting.
At about 10:30 a.m. Philadelphia time, reports emerged of a gunman in a building at Community College of Philadelphia.
— Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) October 6, 2015
Students were ordered to say in their classrooms, and employees were told to stay in their offices, as police conducted a search of the area. A magnet school across the street from the college, Masterman Middle and High School, was also locked down during the search.
At 11:21 a.m., police gave the all-clear.
The Philadelphia Police Department described the incident as a “personal dispute,” but did not give any further information. The PPD then tweeted that a suspect was in custody; again, no further information was given.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) October 6, 2015
On Monday, according to the Washington Times, the FBI notified Philadelphia authorities of an online threat of a mass shooting at a school in or near Philadelphia. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, an anonymous user of the anything-goes message board 4chan posted a threat warning that school shootings in the Philadelphia area would be coming.
“The first of our kind has struck fear into the hearts of America. His cries have been heard, even by the President. This is only the beginning. The Beta Rebellion has begun. Soon, more of our brothers will take up arms to become martyrs to this revolution.”
Authorities responded by beefing up security at schools in and around Philadelphia.
It does not appear, as of this post, that the online threat was in any way connected to Tuesday’s shooting (see Update below).
The reports of a gunman at a Philadelphia college come just days after a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine people plus himself, and injuring several others. The attack renewed debate about gun control in the U.S. and safety on college campuses.
The Community College of Philadelphia has been locked down for gun violence before. In 2014, the school was locked down after a student pulled a gun on another student in class. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
This is a breaking news story. More information about the Community College of Philadelphia gunman story will be provided as it becomes available.
Update [12:47 P.M. Eastern Time]: As The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, Philadelphia police have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with the Community College of Philadelphia lockdown. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has told news reporters that a 17-year-old boy was arrested. Police say he pulled a gun on a fellow student in a dispute with another student. Ramsey describes the people involved as “two individuals with a history.”
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) October 6, 2015
Witnesses told NBC Philadelphia that two men who knew each other, at least one of whom was a student at the college, got into an argument outside the school’s Winnet building. The gunman then ran into the building.
In a video posted to Instagram, a juvenile suspect with his hands in zip ties can be seen in police custody.
It is unlikely that the suspect’s name will be released since he is a juvenile.
[Image courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons]