CSUN police officers are continuing their investigation for the suspected gunman and said they were glad the campus community was involved in the search.
After sending out a description of the subject in a message around 4:49 p.m. Wednesday, the police department received dozens of calls from people on campus who may have seen the suspect.
Police Chief Anne Glavin said she believes the gun sighting may have been a student mistaking a butane lighter shaped like a gun for a real one.
“There are so many possibilities in a call like this and we have to look at it very carefully,” Glavin said. “Our job is to figure out if they actually have it.”
Glavin also said that after searching for the suspect for four hours and detaining four students, officers decided the suspect may have left campus.
“We have to remember that we try to find someone who fits the description and find out what’s going on,” she said.
Glavin said police must determine the threat level of any reports and then can decide to send emails and phone calls to warn the campus community. She also said that is why the campus was not evacuated or closed.
“We have to balance safety and the practical aspects of the campus,” Glavin said. “Because we had a man with a gun, we decided to err on the side of caution and that’s why we sent out the message.”