WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of law enforcement personnel descended upon the UCLA campus Wednesday after reports of shots fired.
The incident, which later turned out to be a murder-suicide, sent those on campus into classrooms and other rooms to shelter in place around 10 a.m. but many weren’t able to lock the doors.
Before police knew the shooting was a murder-suicide — one that claimed the life of victim 39-year-old William Klug — some students ran, while others barricaded themselves in classrooms for hours. The identity of the suspected shooter has not been released.
Engineering student Omar Attioui found himself using whatever he could to block a classroom door when he realized it couldn’t be locked. Other students posted pictures on social media with the same concerns about doors that opened out but couldn’t be locked.
One student said he created a makeshift strap to hold the door closed, while others went in search of any locked doors.
“We tried to lock the door but there was no lock,” a student said. “I think you have to have like a key so we went down the hall looking for any locked doors, knocking.”
Students, however, praised the response by both law enforcement and the UCLA Bruin Alert system, which kept them informed.
“Actually UCLA was really effective. We got the text within seconds of hearing everything so we kind of were always up to date with what’s going on,” said another student.
Others said officers not only helped guide them to safety but offered a sense of safety.
“I’m really thankful. The police did a really good job,” another student said.
“One thing that we do very well here in Los Angeles is that all of our partner and allied agencies including LAPD, UCLA PD, fire department, our federal partners, we do well in large incidents like this because we train, we practice,” said Capt. Andy Neiman of the LAPD.
Scott L. Waugh, the executive vice chancellor and provost of UCLA, said the school would continue to examine its procedures as it relates to the active shooting.
“We’ve gone through many scenarios in the past and will continue to do that,” he said. “We’ll learn from this event and learn how we need to work as cooperatively as possible with the different law enforcement agencies to make sure that we can handle these different situations effectively and safely for the students, faculty, and staff.”
UCLA administrators said counselors would be available for students and staff. A candlelight vigil has also been planned for Thursday night.