A screaming student who had allegedly made threats on social media against the University of San Francisco campus was arrested Sunday night after students locked themselves in campus buildings in fear of a potential mass shooting.
Rumors of an active shooter on the main campus at Gillson Hall spread like wildfire Sunday evening at USF, and students posted multiple videos to Twitter that documented the sound of one male student screaming in a quad at the top of his lungs and trying to gain access to a locked building. The San Francisco Police Department ultimately responded to the campus around 7 p.m., and one student was taken into custody, as KRON 4 reports. The student was not found to be armed.
The university was apparently slow to issue an official bulletin on the situation, as the Examiner reports, prompting anger from scared students who believed their lives might be in danger. At 7:50 p.m., the school issued a message via SMS and robocall to faculty and students saying there was "no active shooter on campus and our community is not in danger." There was a subsequent message from the school at 9:15 p.m. saying, "There was an alert tonight that sparked campus-wide concern. All members of the University are safe. USF has confirmed that there is no active shooter on campus."
BREAKING: Around 7 p.m., reports of a shooting threat in Gillson Hall began circulating rapidly around the campus community.— San Francisco Foghorn (@SFFoghorn) November 25, 2019
At 7:51 p.m., after the situation had reportedly been resolved, the University sent out an SMS, email, and robocall informing the community that there is “no active shooter on campus.”— San Francisco Foghorn (@SFFoghorn) November 25, 2019
Students on campus said that the arrested student was heard yelling about a possible shooting, and they believe that university officials should have been more proactive in locking down the campus.
The student, who has not been named, had also allegedly posted some disturbing messages to Instagram. In video below, he can be heard yelling "Open the fucking door right now" and "Sir, this MY fucking property!"
we should’ve been alerted the MINUTE there was a threat. people heard him yelling about the shooting! he had some very disturbing instagram posts/comments! what the fuck!— ¡ les ! (@halfmoonleslie) November 25, 2019
And again here shouting “Sir, this is my f*cking property.” Students seen running away, Public Safety seen running towards. pic.twitter.com/gMoIcpc6Yn— ✰ erik ✰ (@zriracha) November 25, 2019
The University tweeted around midnight that "Public Safety collaborated with SFPD and our student was taken into custody." They added, "We will continue to work with all involved and understand that this is a very difficult situation for our community." They further tweeted that clinicians and mental health staff would be available for students who wanted to speak with them today.
USF student KelliAnne Westad writes in a comment on the Examiner, "There are no words to explain how incredibly disappointed I am in USF." She writes, "Without any doubt, all buildings on campus should have been in lockdown [during the incident]. Emergency texts, emails, and phone calls should have been sent to all students, parents, and employees the moment a threat was present on campus. We test out emergency procedures SO OFTEN. They exist. They work. Why did USF refuse to use them?"