RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — The suspect involved in an incident Wednesday that prompted a lockdown of Mt. San Jacinto College was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport.
The suspect, 25-year-old Greg Abejon, was arrested at LAX after checking in at the airport in an apparent attempt to flee the country.
MSJC’s San Jacinto Campus was put on lockdown Wednesday and all classes were canceled districtwide after the sheriff’s department received a report that there was a man with a gun on the campus.
Abejon was said to have allegedly pointed a gun at a female student in the campus cafeteria.
“We were in the cafeteria and the gunman had come in and he pointed his gun directly at this one girl,” said one student. “After he pointed the gun he just walked out right away.”
The sheriff’s department and campus safety officers responded to the situation immediately after receiving the report around 9:30 a.m.
The campus was temporarily locked down, along with three nearby campuses, while authorities searched for the suspect.
The suspect in today’s MSJC incident has been taken into custody at LAX. Suspect, 25-year-old Greg Abejon, was arrested after checking-in at the airport in an attempt to flee the country. No additional info at this time. Press Release pending. https://t.co/3h12a1GArS pic.twitter.com/8kL5dOmaBU
— Riverside County Sheriff's Dept (@RSO) November 6, 2019
Following a thorough search, the sheriff’s department began releasing students, faculty, and staff on a building-by-building basis shortly after 1 p.m.
No shots were fired on-campus and there were no injuries reported.
“We’re very thankful for the quick response by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and its swift apprehension of the suspect,” said MSJC Superintendent/President Dr. Roger Schultz.
“With their full support and fast reaction, everyone was kept safe and then released in an orderly fashion. We appreciate everything they do for us and the community. We also thank our students, faculty, and staff for their patience and cooperation during the lockdown. Safety of our students, employees, and visitors is our utmost priority.”
Abejon’s father told CBS2/KCAL9 his son is a seven-year Navy veteran who was discharged last November after a tour in Guantanamo Bay as a surgical technician.
He says his son went to the V.A. assistance center on-campus Wednesday morning asking for some sort of help but was referred instead to an off-campus site.
He says he doesn’t know what happened in between that time and the alleged incident.
He also said he wanted to be clear nothing would excuse the actions. He says it wasn’t in his son’s character to hurt people and believes it was a cry for help.
People who know Abejon say they’re stunned to hear the allegations and say he had no known history of violence.
Tyler Barclay is Abejon’s next door neighbor and a fellow student who was on-campus at the time. She spoke in his defense.
“Obviously he has something good about him if he’s putting his life on the line for his country,” she said.
“I think we need some changes in the V.A. and more help for these guys that are fighting for us,” added neighbor Chris Barclay.
MSJC will reopen Thursday with increased security. Counseling will be provided for those affected by the incident.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office had not yet disclosed what charges Abejon might face at the time of this report.