COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Reports of a man with a gun caused a scare on the campus of Columbus State Community College on Wednesday. Columbus Police received a 911 call at 9:52am Wednesday morning. The caller told dispatchers someone was threatened by the man with a gun inside the Center for Technology and Learning.
Emergency alerts were sent via email, text message, and phone at 10:07am. Columbus State Community College Student Kaitlynn Waulk said she learned the details of the evacuation once she read her email in the cafeteria.
“I didn’t know much. We heard someone say evacuate and we didn’t know what. My teacher barricaded the door just in case until a police officer came.” Waulk said.
Columbus State Police Chief Sean Asbury says the suspect left the TL Building and got into a car headed toward downtown. He describes the suspect as a black male wearing a brown jacket, black shirt, and black sweatpants. While the immediate threat is over, Asbury explains, “There is still an active investigation going on. We want to find out who exactly came onto our campus and pulled a gun.”
Columbus State Community College Student Tonya Gilbert was happy her day ended early.
“At first I was kind of scared, but when I got the text message saying class was cancelled I got so happy,” she said. “I am safe. I feel a little bit more relief.”
CSCC spokesman David Wayne says there are roughly 50 people working in the campus police department. Roughly half of those employees are armed officers, he said.
“The police officers are everywhere,” he said. “They are making everyone safe so I feel safe.”
Chief Asbury says emergency responders acted fast.
“If somebody does have a gun and they do start shooting on campus, we want to make sure that we give our faculty, staff, and students a chance to adequately respond and get to a safe place,” he said.
Asbury said he will meet with others after this incident to evaluate the response, but gave his team high marks.
“Our procedure went just as we had had it laid out,” he said. “It went very well.”