A Texas Tech police officer was killed in the headquarters of the campus police department, Lubbock police confirmed to KCBD-TV.
Chris Cook, a Texas Tech spokesperson, said in a statement that the suspected gunman was a student who had been taken to police headquarters as part of an investigation.
“Earlier this evening, Texas Tech police made a student welfare check. Upon entering the room, officers found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Officers brought the suspect to the police station for standard debriefing,” Cook said. “During this time, the suspect pulled a gun and shot an officer in the head. The officer is deceased. The suspect fled on foot and is currently still at-large. Texas Tech University campus is on lockdown.”
The suspect was taken into custody at 9:30 p.m. after fleeing on foot, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Social media reports flooded in of a possible “active shooter,” but, thus far, there were no reports of anyone else being shot. SWAT officers were seen near Talkington Hall.
The suspect is believed to be driving a silver 2001 BMW SUV.
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At 8:50 p.m., the university said in an update that the situation remained ongoing: “Update: 8:50 p.m. 10/9/17. This is an update from Texas Tech University. The current situation is ongoing. Continue to shelter in place. We will provide more information as it becomes available. More information at emergency.ttu.edu.”
Students were told to take shelter as the incident broke the evening of October 9. The student newspaper reported, “There is heavy police and SWAT presence at Boston Ave and 19th Street on campus currently.”
Texas Tech released an emergency alert via its website. It read, “This is an emergency notification from Texas Tech University. A shooting has been reported at the Texas Tech Police Department. At this time, the shooter is still at large. The campus is on lockdown. Take shelter in a safe location. Additional information to come. For more information go to emergency.ttu.edu.”
According to NBC 5, “The Lubbock SWAT team is on scene looking for the gunman.”
The university also released the same information on Twitter. The university cancelled all intramurals to ensure student safety.
Lubbock police said on Twitter only that they were giving a report to the news media shortly.
“Lubbock police confirm that a Texas Tech police officer has been shot and killed at Texas Tech Police Headquarters,” the television station reported. “It happened around 8 p.m. on Monday night at Texas Tech Police Department headquarters, 413 Flint Avenue.”
The television station provided this early description of the suspect, although the situation was just unfolding: “Early reports say the shooting suspect is 6 feet tall, 140 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.”
Reports on social media indicated that the shooter was at large, and the campus was in lockdown mode.
“Active shooter on campus and we are on lockdown. Cops everywhere helicopters everywhere. I’m safe,” wrote one young man in a social media phenomenon that has become all too familiar of late, with the Las Vegas mass shooting still on many people’s minds.
One man wrote this account on Twitter, but authorities had not verified it as rumors and panic spread: “Just heard shooter may be at Talkington hall, if you know anybody there please tell them to stay inside make sure no one can get in.” The opinion editor for the student newspaper tweeted that the suspect appeared to be driving a silver BMW, but this had not been confirmed by authorities either.
Demonstrating how frightening the situation was for parents and students alike, one woman wrote on Twitter, “Praying my son is safe ??,” to which another person responded, “Don’t call or text him after it’s all clear. If he is in hiding and you call or text, it may endanger him. Praying for you and him.”