STORY UPDATED AT 4:00 P.M. ON 11/22/17
Campus Safety put the university on lockdown after sending out an emergency alert to students about the presence of a robbery suspect near the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health on Tuesday.
SUSPECT LEFT CAMPUS
The suspect robbed a Subway on Rosecrans Avenue before walking to campus, likely to hide from law enforcement, according to Chief John Ojeisekhoba of Campus Safety. It remains possible the suspect possessed a handgun. After receiving this information through a police scanner, an officer spotted an individual matching the description of the suspect in the area of the science center. Campus Safety sent the initial emergency alert informing students of the situation at 10:54 p.m.
Campus Safety and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officers set up a perimeter around the location and lower campus, but did not locate the suspect and determined he had fled. Campus Safety does not believe the individual stole anything from campus. Students received the final alert lifting the lockdown at 11:21 p.m.
This incident came less than a month after an assault suspect entered campus on Oct. 29.
“It’s rare to have an incident like this occur within weeks [of the previous incident]. If this were to occur again in the future, we urge students to just continue to follow Campus Safety instructions. They did great last night, and that helped us a lot to manage the situation better,” Ojeisekhoba said.
STUDENTS SEEK SHELTER
Freshman theatre major Lydia Safford was leaving Hart Hall to meet with a friend to leave campus for Thanksgiving break when an officer posted outside the dorm sent her back inside. Another of Safford’s friends had expected to drive with them to a bus station, but due to the lockdown had to miss the bus.
“After the first lockdown that we had… if it’s like, ‘Oh, never mind, it wasn’t somebody,’ I’m going to be kind of annoyed,” Safford said during the lockdown. “I’m feeling a little anxious, but I think it’ll be okay.”
Freshman cinema and media arts and music major Robert Brown was walking by the science center when an officer informed him of the situation.
“A Campo officer told us to sprint to our destination, so we did, because we didn’t get the texts in time, or at least we didn’t notice it,” Brown said. “When we got back there we noticed all the alerts.”
Ojeisekhoba believes officers responded well once again to an emergency situation on campus in keeping the Biola community safe.
“We responded as trained and as planned,” Ojeisekhoba said. “That means if something’s going on in the city and it’s close by campus, we mobilize to that area and put measures in place to protect property, students and employees.”
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. The Chimes will publish a follow-up story soon.