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Cal State Fullerton lockdown: Suspect appears to have eluded search

December 13, 2012 | 12:40 am

After about eight hours, the lockdown at Cal State Fullerton ended just before midnight Wednesday as students were allowed to return home, authorities said.

Two suspected armed robbers who bolted through the campus after a high-speed chase remained at large, however, and authorities said a contingent of police officers would remain on campus. Classes will be held Thursday as normal, authorities said.

For much of the evening, SWAT officers methodically searched Steven G. Mihaylo Hall, where one suspect was believed to have holed up.

"We don't believe he is here," Lt. Ken Alexander with the North County SWAT Team said. "We're just here as a safety precaution."

Alexander said police searched the education center and other halls in the southeast portion of the campus, but did not locate the suspect.
 
The fugitive and four others were involved in an armed robbery of a jewelry store earlier in the day in Moreno Valley, authorities said. They shot an employee of the store, then led police on a car chase that spanned four counties, officials said. After the suspects stopped at Cal State Fullerton, two of the men were captured, while two others ran away -- one reportedly dashing into Mihaylo Hall, officials said. The fifth was caught in Watts, after he carjacked a vehicle, they said.

All classes were canceled Wednesday evening and several nearby streets were shut down, including a stretch of the 57 Freeway nearby.

The condition of the clerk who was shot during the robbery was listed as critical.

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-- Esmeralda Bermudez and Nicole Santa Cruz

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