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Cal State Fullerton lockdown: hungry and impatient, students begin to leave

December 12, 2012 | 11:13 pm

Cal State Fullerton on lockdown as police search Mihaylo Hall for suspect in jewelry store robbery and high-speed chase. Credit: Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times

About 400 students and staff have been released from a Cal State Fullerton building where an armed robbery suspect was believed to be hiding.

People were escorted out of the north side of the building to nearby parking structures at about 10:30 p.m., said Sgt. Jeff Stuart of the Fullerton Police Department.

“We understand people need to get going,” he said.

Meanwhile, students and staff who remained in other buildings on campus, such as the library and dorms, have also begun to walk off the campus, though they were not officially released.

“It’s just getting to the point where they’re hungry and they’re letting themselves out,” Stuart said. He said police did not have enough personnel to keep people inside the buildings.

The focus of the seven-hour search was on Steven G. Mihaylo Hall, a 200,000-square-foot business and economics structure, where one of two suspects who remain on the loose was last spotted.

The fugitive and four others were involved in an armed robbery earlier in the day in Moreno Valley. They shot an employee, then led police on a wild car chase that spanned four counties. After they stopped at Cal State Fullerton, two of the men were captured. Two others fled on foot, one reportedly into Mihaylo Hall. The fifth was caught in Watts shortly after.

The suspect may still be on campus.

“We don’t know one way or another,” Stuart said.

As people evacuate the campus, he said police will move more teams into place to continue the search in other buildings.

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Photo: Cal State Fullerton on lockdown as police search Mihaylo Hall for suspect in jewelry store robbery and high-speed chase. Credit: Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times

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