Shelter in place lifted, in-person classes remain canceled following credible campuswide threat

Photo of Cesar Chavez Student Center
Anissa Nishioka/Senior Staff
After reports of a credible threat near campus's Cesar E. Chavez Student Center, UC Berkeley is being advised to shelter in place. According to a tweet from UCPD, there is not an active shooter on campus, but police are searching for a person who "may want to harm specific individuals."

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Update 2:05 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect an announcement to lift the shelter-in-place order and to reflect that the location is now clear

UC Berkeley is being advised to shelter in place after a reported emergency at the campus’s Cesar E. Chavez Student Center, according to a campuswide warning from UCPD. UCPD has since issued an “ALL CLEAR,” noting the situation has been resolved and the shelter in place has been lifted.

Those on campus are being advised to leave campus through the closest route, in a safe and orderly way.

Multiple sources pointed to a threat of a shooter. The suspect allegedly made threats against faculty at the Center for Educational Equity and Excellence, some of whom hold offices at the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center, according to Cara Stanley, executive director at the Student Learning Center, and Khuyen Nguyen, associate executive director. Both Stanley and Nguyen also stated that no faculty at the Student Learning Center was threatened. In-person classes have been canceled for the rest of the day, according to an updated campuswide UCPD alert.

According to the live UCPD scanner, an individual was barricaded inside the center, and an individual heard another shouting “I am the reason why this is all happening!” Police on the scanner mentioned the use of “less-lethal force” if the individual was found.

A loudspeaker on Sproul Plaza advised students to move inside and away from any doors and windows.

Blackwell Hall, due to its proximity to campus, was on lockdown, and is not letting students in or out.  Additionally, all campus services, including libraries, dining halls, Bear Transit shuttle services and parking garages are closed until further notice.

Buses are on standby in West Berkeley to take individuals away from campus, according to a UC Berkeley Parking and Transportation tweet. Additionally, FlixBus and BerkBus stops have been relocated to University Extension until further notice.

According to a tweet from Berkeley Scanner, UCPD is aware of the suspect’s identity and was searching campus and the suspected building for them. A tweet from UCPD notes that while there is not an active shooter on campus, police were searching for a person who “may want to harm specific individuals.”

An updated UCPD campus alert stated this was a “credible campus-wide” threat and those who are not already on campus should avoid the area. Those already on campus are being advised to lock doors and close windows, as well Facilities Services is locking all buildings on campus as UCPD investigates.

According to a live UCPD scanner, police walked a suspect out of the building but the suspect was not a match. A tweet from Berkeley Scanner added that police have done a sweep through the building the suspect was tracked to but did not find the suspect. Police will do another scan to confirm.

The UCPD scanner noted that officers from UCSF are being brought in to help. As of press time, there are about 20 officers on the scene, the scanner added.

The suspect has been identified as a possible 5150, a section of the Welfare and Institutions Code that allows individuals with mental illness to be involuntarily detained for 72 hours, according to the UCPD scanner. Officers are continuing a sweep across the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and the student center.

According to an email from Berkeley Unified School District, several BUSD schools, including Berkeley High School, have been placed on a “soft lockdown” out of an “abundance of caution.” The soft lockdown was lifted around 2:21 p.m., a follow-up email from BUSD noted.

At its peak around 11:15 a.m., almost 10,000 individuals were tuned into the UCPD scanner.

Check back for updates.

Matt Brown and Vani Suresh are deputy news editors. Contact them at [email protected].