In the Wake of UCC Shooting, Multiple Schools Closed on Friday

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( — October 3, 2015) — In the wake of the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, Schools in at least three states, stretching from Virginia and Texas to Washington, remain closed or in state of alert over reports of people with guns nearby, Russia Today reported.

Reportedly, at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, students were told to “avoid the area” since a “possible armed suspect” was reported on campus grounds.

The suspect was a male, wearing a green shirt, jacket and square army-style cap, armed with what appeared to be a rifle. The police could not locate anyone in campus that looked suspicious. However, law enforcement continues to monitor the campus.

Washington state local paper, The Chronicle, reported that 16-year-old Centralia High School teenager was arrested over comments he made on a social network. In addition, a note was found in a classroom on Friday, suggesting that a student was planning to kill others during a school assembly.

“Centralia High School is currently on lockdown due to a threat received,” the school said on Facebook. “We are assessing the situation with law-enforcement. At this time students are still on campus and are safe.” reported that a teenager told the police that he was only joking. Nonetheless, he was arrested and charged with felony harassment.  

Two other schools in Texas were also placed under a lockdown Friday after armed suspects were reported in the area.

In El Paso, Canutillo High School, Northwest Early College High School, and the El Paso Community College (EPCC)’s Northwest campus were all mentioned in these reports, according to El Paso Times. However, the police found “no credible threat”.

“We have not found anyone with a gun,” said EPCC police chief Jose Ramirez to the Times. “The perimeter is still in place and they are still sweeping the rooms.”

The Spring Branch school district in Houston area was placed under a lockdown over a “non-specific threat,” ABC 13 reported.

“Police were notified early Friday morning about a potential threat made against an unidentified Houston-area school,” a statement from the district said. “[Houston school district] police and the Houston Police Department launched an investigation, but at this time have found no evidence to suggest the threat was credible or directed at HISD.”

US President Barack Obama said shootings in the US had become “routine” and urged people to lobby their government representatives to change the laws and legislate gun control. He blamed the Congress for blocking legislation.