Oklahoma Baptist University is reportedly on lockdown after reports that an armed man escaped onto the campus following a police chase.
The university’s president released a message Sunday evening noting that an unidentified man was seen on campus with what was believed to be a weapon.
OBU: I will continue to monitor and update as I learn new information. pic.twitter.com/zjCWpQx0vD
— David W. Whitlock (@davidwwhitlock) February 1, 2016
— The NW Fire Blog (@nwfireblog) February 1, 2016
Police agencies were reportedly combing over the campus for the suspect, who was identified as Brice Winrow. There were no details as to his alleged crime or why police were giving chase.
OBU LOCKDOWN UPDATE: multiple law enforcement agencies searching for suspect. No known injuries.
— Keaton Fox (@keatonfox) January 31, 2016
Whitlock later issued a statement saying that the campus was secure, but remained under lockdown.
“Shawnee PD were involved in chasing a suspect who abandoned his vehicle north of the OBU campus. The subject ran onto the north property on foot.
“Students, remain in lockdown. The police are monitoring perimeter and you will interfere with their search for the suspect.
“OBU is being overly cautious, but please stay in place until all clear.”
The university’s approach to the armed man on campus comes after a series of high-profile shootings both at college and high school campuses. In October, a man identified as Chris Harper Mercer opened fire on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon, leaving 10 people dead and nine others wounded.
The alleged shooter may have given warning, with a post on the image-sharing site 4chan the night before predicting bloodshed on a campus in the American Northwest.
“Some of you guys are alright. Don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.
“happening thread will be posted tomorrow morning
“so long space robots”
As witnesses told NBC News, the shooting appeared to be religiously motivated.
“High school student Autumn Vicari told NBC News her 19-year-old brother J.J. was in a room filled with students at the college when the gunman entered.
“According to her brother’s account, Vicari said at one point the shooter told people to stand up before asking whether they were Christian or not.
“Vicari’s brother told her that anyone who responded ‘yes’ was shot in the head. If they said ‘other’ or didn’t answer, they were shot elsewhere in the body, usually the leg. Vicari said her brother managed to escape but watched as three people were later killed in another room. He believes the gunman didn’t spot him, Vicari said — adding that J.J. was struggling to deal with what he witnessed.”
Though Sunday night’s lockdown took place on a Christian campus, reports seem to indicate that it was a random event rather than a plan on the suspect’s part. Police noted that there have been no reports of violence or gunfire during the search for the suspect.
Oklahoma Baptist University is a small Christian liberal arts university located in Shawnee, which is roughly 30 miles from Oklahoma City.
[Image via OKBU.edu]