Numerous reports said a “possible suspect with a gun” was on the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus. A campus-wide alert was texted and emailed telling students to take shelter, lock doors, stay quiet and silence phones.
The alert read, “LBCC Emergency Alert: There is a possible suspect with a gun at PCC. Take safe shelter in nearest room, and lock door. Silence cells, call 911 if you have info about suspect, and if safe. Remain in place until the police or LBCC officials give the ‘all clear’ sign or give an updated notification.”
There was across the board fear from students posting on social about the alert they’d received adding that armed police officers could be seen and helicopters flying overhead could be heard as some were barricading doors.
A news report from the Long Beach Post said the gun was fake.
“Right now, it looks like it was a toy gun,” Long Beach police department spokeswoman Shauna Dandoy told the paper.
But as that news broke, many students were still reporting the alert they just received and many were hiding.
The all-clear finally came just after 11 a.m.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia took to Twitter to reassure people.
Nearly 90 minutes after the first alert, Long Beach Police reported that the gun was a “replica” firearm being used in a class.
“#LBPD responded to a person w/ a gun call @LBCityCollege PCC. Officers determined it was a replica firearm, part of a class. There’s no threat to the campus or students. No injuries reported & no arrests have been made. Police activity has concluded. #SeeSomethingSaySomething”
It turns out, the “gun,” was a prop for a film class as is explained in this tweet thread.
“GUYS IT WAS A FILM PROP BEING TRANSFERRED FROM THE F BUILDING TO THE E BUILDING IM SORRY ???????? #lbcc”
Relieved it was a false alarm, but nonetheless terrified for an hour.
“Lbcc gave the ALL CLEAR for the shooting threat, but those notifications were terrifying.”
A comment followed: “I remember when it happened at ucla. I went into survival mode.”