UPDATE: Friday, December 21, 2012
Police are looking for a man they say held up a handgun while cruising the parking lot at the El Dorado campus of Butler County Community College.
The sighting by a campus employee, put the college on lockdown for more an hour Friday afternoon. No one was injured.
Police say the man was driving a cream-colored pickup truck with a red stripe. They say he is heavy-set and was wearing a baseball cap and glasses. He was last seen headed north on Haverhill Road.
Campus police told KAKE News Friday night they are following up on several leads.
Earlier in the day, at about 2 p.m., students and staff Inside the main administration building say an announcement came over the loud speaker that said, "Armed Intruder. Take Cover."
Joanne Mastin was one of about 50 people in the building at the time. She was there to visit with her academic adviser.
"I thought that maybe after things in Connecticut, I sort of thought we were doing a practice," Mastin said.
She wasn't alone in that thought process.
Many people inside say they thought the call for a "lockdown" was just a drill. But very quickly, staff members say they confirmed with campus security by phone there was a real perceived threat.
As people began to understand the seriousness of the situation, students say several people went into shock.
"They broke down into tears and we were trying to comfort them and make them feel comfortable," Mastin said. "It's a scary feeling to know that you are on lockdown and don't know what's going on."
Campus police say the lockdown was necessary because they deemed the threat to be credible.
"We immediately went into our "Armed Intruder Protocol," which we have trained for, with the assistance of city police and the sheriff's office," Chief of Campus Police Marshall Matthews said.
Within minutes school administrators sent out an alert by text message, phone, and email that read:
"Attention: Lock your areas. Take shelter out of site. Armed intruder on El Dorado campus."
On that El Dorado campus, staff members say they followed their training to get everyone in the buildings into "safe zone" rooms. They locked the doors and turned off all the lights.
"We tried to keep people away from the windows and out of sight," staff member Aaron Pugh said. "We didn't want people to panic."
Matthews says police searched the area and every open building. After about an hour, he says they reached the conclusion the man was no longer in the area. They lifted the lockdown shortly after 3 p.m.
As students came out of the buildings, they were shaken but praised staff and campus police for reacting they way they did.
"I'm just glad after everything that's happened, that our school is taking these kinds of precautions," Mastin said.
UPDATE: 3:20 p.m.
Butler Community College has lifted the lockdown after a man was seen with a gun on campus earlier Friday afternoon.
It's currently unclear if Butler County deputies have located the man.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Butler County authorities are looking for a man who drove through a college campus and displayed a gun Friday afternoon.
Butler Community College sent out a text alert Friday afternoon to let students know an armed man had been recently seen on campus. The full text reads:
Attention: Lock your areas. Take shelter out of site. Armed intruder reported on El Dorado campus.
According to Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet, a white, heavy-set man in a tan colored pick-up truck with red stripe drove onto campus and displayed a gun.
He then drove away and was last seen driving northbound on Haverhill Road.
Butler County deputies are currently out looking for the man.
No one has been injured.
Stay with KAKE News for updates.