Cal State San Marcos lockdown is false alarm

Cal State San Marcos was on lockdown for about 40 minutes Wednesday morning after a report of a man with a gun on campus. It was a false alarm, but not before some tense moments.

“There’s multiple devices telling everyone there’s something going on and to stay inside,” stated school spokesperson Margaret Chantung.

The nation’s school shootings have prompted students and faculty alike to be extra vigilant and that’s what apparently happened shortly before 9am on the Cal State San Marcos campus – specifically, a campus parking garage. A faculty member saw a man with what the faculty member thought was a rife or rifle case slung over his shoulder. Campus police rushed to the area, as an automatic call went out to the Sheriff’s Department. At the same time, everyone on campus was alerted to stay where they were, take cover and barricade themselves.

“Most of the campus doors will lock automatically or some manual, but basically stay down, away from windows and push furniture against the wall.”

Police swept the building the man was seen entering. Turns out, he was a school employee who had brought a large umbrella with him and apparently had the sleeve for it over his shoulder. While it was a false alarm, it highlights the campus’s multi-layer alert system.

“With the push of a button, alert goes out – desktops, texts, emails. Our sound system on campus had the alert. Desk phones and private cell phones.”

Student and campus employee Julius Williams showed us his phone which had multiple texts, including real-time updates on what was happening.

“There’s a man with a rifle. Then, the man’s in the Science Hall. Then, we are entering the building. So, step-by-step process with everyone in the know.”

The disruption wasn’t too great because Cal State classes don’t resume until next week, but some 400 incoming students were on campus for orientation – who certainly had something to talk about.

Categories: KUSI