BREAKING: Possible gunman in custody with CSUN police

Andrew Lopez

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The susepected gunman faces a pillar in front of the Oviatt Library. He was said to have been screaming profanitites. A student provided this photo to the university.

>>>UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: The suspect turned himself in, said Carmen Ramos Chandler, director of news and information. He is currently in custody with CSUN Police, said Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police & public information officer.

>>>UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: The suspect has been apprehended and is in custody, according to an automated phone message from CSUN.

>>>UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: The bomb squad and K-9 unit have left the Oviatt Library.

>>>UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: CSUNPD, LAPD and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) continue to thoroughly search the campus and surrounding area. The Oviatt Library remains closed. Currently they have not identified anything threatening on or off campus.

>>>UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: The campus has not been closed because LAPD and CHP have searched the campus and surrounding area since the incident was reported and have not found anything suspicious, said Carmen Chandler, director of news and information.

>>>UPDATE 4:46 p.m.: Police will soon escort students into the library to retrieve personal items left inside when it was evacuated, said Augustine Castaneda, CSUN security guard.

>>>UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Two Los Angeles Fire Department trucks are now stationed to the northeast of the Oviatt Library.

“If we’re needed for medical problems, that’s why we’re standing here,” Capt. Polzer said.

>>>UPDATE 4:14 p.m.: The Oviatt Library will not reopen until 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, said Mark Stover, CSUN library dean.

>>>UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: Police entered the Oviatt Library at approximately 3:40 for a second search of the building.

>>>UPDATE 3:35 p.m.: Police, the K-9 Unit and bomb squad are about to enter the Oviatt Library for the first time since it was evacuated, said Kirk Albanese, commanding officer, operations-Valley burea.

Albanese said student witnesses said the suspect stood outside of the Oviatt and said he would harm himself and others with the gun he had, then walked inside the building. The building was then evacuated, but no one knows if the suspect left the building.

>>>UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: When asked when the Oviatt would reopen and the campus would return to normal, Carmen Chandler, director of news and information, said she did not know.

>>>UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: Four K-9 Units are at the Oviatt Library.

>>>UPDATE 2:53 p.m.: One bomb squad truck and one K-9 Unit are on campus, police have requested three more K-9 Units, said Officer Pearce.

>>>UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: The K-9 Unit is on their way to campus, said Officer Pearce.

>>>UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: Class has not been cancelled, but students should give their professors proper notification if they do not feel safe enough to come to campus, said an automated call from CSUN to all students around 1:30 p.m. The Oviatt Library remains closed.

>>>UPDATE 2:04 p.m.: The bomb squad has been called to the Oviatt, and more are on their way, said LAPD Officer Pearce.

>>>UPDATE 2:02 p.m.: The bomb squad is on Nordhoff Street and Darby Avenue, probably heading to the library, said Professor Ezra Shapiro.

>>>UPDATE 1:46 p.m.: The search perimeter for the suspected gunman on campus has expanded on all sides. The perimeter covers Bayramian Hall to the West, the planetarium to the East, Sierra Tower and Eucalyptus Hall to the South, and the Education building to the North.

According to Police Captain Fred Fernandez, the library will remain closed until a second search is conducted with resources from the LAPD and search dogs. Fernandez reported they “cleared the library thoroughly” using the fire drill system and searched the building. Fernandez said the gunman told a staff member at the library that he had a gun which was out of sight, and authorities were informed.

It is not confirmed whether or not the suspect is a CSUN student.

>>> UPDATE 1:25 p.m.: According to an eye-witness on campus, the suspected gunman was seen outside of the Oviatt library before the campus-wide alert was issued.

Sarkis Mkrtchyan, 24, claims he saw a man who fit the suspect’s description screaming profanities next to a stone pillar by the front of the building saying he was “doing a lot, not getting credit for it, and there’s no recognition.”

According to Dean Arnold, the music and media supervisor at the library, every available police officer was dispatched to the scene, including trainees.

Arnold added that authorities were informed of the suspect after he was overheard talking to someone on campus. The fellow student became suspicious, and called campus police.

According to the official CSUN news feed, President Koester and Provost Harry Hellenbrand arrived to the library not long after police were informed.

Eye-witnesses in the library at the time of the evacuation said, at approximately 10:30 a.m., two police officers rushed into the front of the library and quickly split apart. Student Raymond Paguia, who was in the first floor of the Oviatt at the time, said the fire alarm went off shortly after and students were evacuated immediately.

At 1 p.m., official university sources notified students and faculty who feel uncomfortable are permitted to leave campus with proper notification to their faculty/supervisor.

View CSUN Evacuated Areas in a larger map

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: According to Carmen Chandler, director of news and information for Cal State University Northridge, the campus is not on an enforced lock-down.  The threat is confined to the Oviatt Library.

Police are looking for a man who allegedly claimed to have a gun on campus.  He has not been seen since the initial reports this morning.  An email was sent out to students notifying them of the possible gunman at 11:48am, over an hour after the incident was reported.

Students have said they are leaving CSUN campus due to the possible threat.

12:00 p.m.: A man claimed to have a gun Tuesday morning in the now-evacuated Oviatt Library, according to an emergency message sent to students by CSUN police.

The man was described as 5’8”, wearing short jeans and a white t-shirt with the words “human rights violatin” and donning short spiky hair, according to the message.

City police were notified of the incident at 10:27 a.m., and students received the message about 11:45 a.m.

If members of the CSUN community see this person, they are advised not to approach him, but university officials ask that they call CSUN police at 818-677-2111.

Contributing reporters: Anthony Carpio, Mary Pham, Ron Rokhy, Katherine O’Neill, Andrew Lopez, A.J. Circhirillo, Hansook Oh, Caitlin Martin, Andres Aguila, Tessie Navarro, Mariela Molina, Ashley Soley-Cerro, Liana Hofer, Jessica Estrada, Alonso Tacanga