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CSUN library to reopen after fruitless search for gunman [Updated]

September 27, 2011 |  2:21 pm

Cal State Northridge suspect Cal State Northridge officials planned to finish their search for a possible campus gunman Tuesday afternoon and reopen the evacuated Oviatt Library.

Capt. Alfredo Fernandez of the campus police department said officers are waiting for a Los Angeles Police Department bomb-sniffing dog to arrive and go through the building before reopening the library. It was evacuated at 10:27 a.m. after a staffer reported that a man in the library said he had a gun.

According to a statement sent out by the university, the man was described as 5-feet-8 with short, spiky hair, and wearing jeans and a white T-shirt that read "human rights violation."

Officials said it was unclear whether he was a student or whether he in fact had a gun.

"No one ever saw a person with a gun. This individual said he had one," Fernandez said.

Fernandez said the man did not threaten to hurt anyone but may have threatened to harm himself.

The campus remained open while police searched the library, but the school sent out a message telling students they could leave if they felt unsafe.

Some students were angered by the university's decision not to close the campus.

"Wow this is not right. Does anybody need to be shot for the school to close down??" one student wrote in a post on the university's Facebook page.

[Updated, 5:35 p.m.: The Oviatt library will remain closed for the remainder of Tuesday while officers and bomb-sniffing dogs complete their search for a possible gunman.

Cal State Northridge spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler said the decision to keep the library closed was made for practical reasons, since it is already late in the day. The library will reopen Wednesday at its normal time of 7:45 a.m., she said.

The rest of the campus remains open.]


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Photo: Cal State Northridge asked people to be alert for a suspected gunman, pictured. Credit: Cal State Northridge