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Berkeley shooting: Four students in lab when man brandished gun

Photo: Students and faculty sitting outside of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated PressA UC Berkeley police officer shot and wounded a man brandishing a gun in a computer lab at the Haas School of Business on Tuesday. Four students were in the computer lab when the shooting occurred, but no one was hurt.

The suspect, a white man who appeared to be in his 20s and about 5 feet 8, was taken to Highland Hospital, where he was in surgery Tuesday afternoon. University officials said they did not know if the suspect was a student. The man was conscious when he was taken to the hospital.

The suspect entered the business school Tuesday afternoon, entering an elevator with a female employee from the school, UC police Chief Mitch Celaya said at a news conference. The man pressed the button for the third floor and the woman for the fifth floor.

The suspect then looked at the woman, pulled out what appeared to be a gun from a backpack and put it back. After leaving the elevator, the staff member told her boss and both went to the computer lab. They saw the suspect there and called police.

Police received a 911 call at 2:17 p.m. and three officers responded two minutes later.

The suspect then "pulled a firearm out of his backpack and displayed it in a threatening manner," Celaya said. He said the officers told the man to drop his weapon. When he didn't, one of the officers fired. Police would not say how many shots were fired.

When police showed up, the students were in between the officers and the gunman. "It appears our students' lives might have been at risk," Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said.

Police would not say whether the suspect's gun was loaded.

Asked if there was any connection between the incident and the Occupy Cal protest, Celaya said: "We don't know. We're looking into that matter. There is nothing to suggest it is the case."

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--- Maria L.  La Ganga in Berkeley

Photo: Students and faculty sitting outside the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

 
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