SJSU shelter-in-place reveals big gaps in security measures

A frightening report of a gunman on the San Jose State University campus ended up revealing some big gaps in security measures.
October 10, 2013 6:22:19 PM PDT
A frightening report of a gunman on the San Jose State University campus ended up revealing some big gaps in security measures.

Fortunately, police did not find gunman at Sweeney Hall. But some students say they could not find a safe classroom in which to hide.

The university does admit there were some glitches at Sweeney Hall. The four-story building is associated with College of Education and is located on the southern end of the campus near 7th and San Salvador. School officials say they're in the process of upgrading their entire security system. So they will review everything that happened during the shelter-in-place.

"This morning we received a report from a student of a gunman inside Sweeney Hall," SJSU spokesperson Pat Harris Lopez said.

The student said he saw a man in black clothes carrying a gun. Police quickly cordoned off Sweeney Hall and officers began sweeping the building room by room.

"Four policemen came in the hallway with their guns out and yelled, 'get in a room and lock it,'" SJSU student Kiersten Mcauley said.

Some 300 faculty, staff, and students were in the building. The campus text and email alerts were activated

"I got an email from the college saying that Sweeney Hall, which is the building I was in, was locked down," SJSU student Nick Nyssen said.

SJSU student Gabriella Stange added, "We all kinda huddled in the corner of the classroom to stay away from the doors."

A few hours later, the university announced it was over.

What could have been a serious situation turned into a drill, testing the university's safety protocols in the event of an armed intruder

The university said the shelter-in-place was a success.

"We have the means of locking all of the doors and we communicated with everyone indoors via the alert system," Harris Lopez said.

But some students disagreed. Holley Clapp never received the text alert.

"You have to be signed up to receive alerts from SJSU," she said.

The university told us everyone should receive the alerts, even though you don't sign up for them

Alexis Morales and Angelica Serna were in room 120, helpless with other students and their teacher. They say their classroom was not locked and that anyone could easily come in and out.

While many rooms here have keypads with combinations, turns out room 120 doesn't even have a lock on the doorknob inside.


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