Students at UC Berkeley are back in class and going on about their days as-normal Friday, after an hours-long campus-wide lockdown Thursday.
“We learned of a credible threat of violence toward members of our campus community,” explained UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ. “We take threats of this nature very seriously and took necessary precautions as officers searched and secured the campus. In order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the safety of our community, we were unable to share real-time information.”
Now, some details on the lockdown are becoming a bit clearer. The school confirms threats of violence were made, and says they were targeted toward specific individuals on campus. The Chronicle reports those threats came in around 7:30 a.m. Thursday from a person affiliated with the university.
The warning to shelter in place came in around 9:43 a.m. Thursday, telling people to move away from doors and windows. At first, people feared that may have been an active shooter, but campus police quickly clarified that wasn’t the case.
As a result of the shutdown, KRON4 reported other schools in the city went on a “soft lockdown” to be cautious. That means all doors and gates are closed, but students can still move within classrooms on campus, rather than being told to shelter in place.
That soft-lockdown affected Berkeley High School, Berkeley Technology Academy, Willard Middle School, Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary School, Emerson Elementary School, Sylvia Mendez Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, and King Child Development Center.
The all-clear came around 2:00 p.m. after the University of California Police Department found the person officers say issued the threat.
“This was an unsettling day for our community,” said Chancellor Chirst. “While we are fortunate that no one was injured in this incident, we recognize the alarm and the anxiety this caused. Our sense of safety and security was threatened; our academic and research pursuits were interrupted; and, for some, past experiences with violence may have resurfaced. We recognize that the incident was especially trying for those in buildings where there was police activity.”
The school and police department have not elaborated on what threats were made or to whom, nor who was detained and what charges they may face.
Photo: Jeremy Huang