Member of campus community made threats prompting lockdown, UC says

Police located the person and said the individual is not a continued threat to the campus.

A police officer stands outside UC Berkeley’s student union Thursday morning as authorities respond to a report of a threat on campus. Credit: Ally Markovich

Update, April 22: Classes resumed on Friday, according to a statement from UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ.

“This was an unsettling day for our community,” Christ said in a statement Friday. “While we are fortunate that no one was injured in this incident, we recognize the alarm and the anxiety this caused.”

Update, 3:20 p.m. UC Berkeley Police located a person affiliated with Cal who made “serious and credible threats” against people at the university, a campus spokesperson said Thursday afternoon.

Police heard about the threat at about 7:30 a.m., UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof said, and the campus went into lockdown at 9:30 a.m. The lockdown was lifted around 1:30 p.m., and Mogulof said police located the individual connected with the threats off-campus at about 2 p.m.

“According to UCPD, the security situation has been addressed and the individual poses no immediate threat,” Mogulof said. “The investigation is ongoing and we will release further details as warranted and appropriate.”

The university did not provide any information about whether the individual was arrested or detained in connection with the investigation.

They also did not specify whether threats were made toward staff or students at Cal, but Mogulof emphasized that the individual does not pose a continued risk.

Update, 1:45 p.m. The shelter in place order at UC Berkeley has been lifted, and people are asked to leave the campus in a “safe and orderly” way, the university said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

UC police said they began searching for a person who made a “credible campus-wide threat” Thursday morning. The university went into lockdown and police decided to lift the shelter in place order that afternoon after conducting their investigation, according to the university.

The university and UC police have not provided any further information about the threat, or a possible suspect.

Buildings are locked and in-person classes remain canceled Thursday, but there’s no update from the university on whether classes will resume on campus Friday.

Original story: UC Berkeley went into lockdown Thursday morning as police searched for a person who made a “credible campus-wide threat.”

UC Berkeley Police issued the alert at 9:30 a.m., telling students, staff and anyone else on campus to go inside and stay away from doors and windows. Anyone not currently on campus is being asked to stay away.

The department later posted to Twitter, “There is NOT an active shooter on campus. Police are actively looking for a person who may want to harm specific individuals.”

UC Berkeley has canceled in-person classes for the rest of the day, and wrote in a news release that campus services such as dining halls and libraries would remain closed “until further notice.”

Berkeley Unified School District said it had put seven schools — Berkeley High School, Berkeley Technology Academy, Willard Middle School, Emerson Elementary School, Sylvia Mendez Elementary School, Washington Elementary School and King Child Development Center — on a “soft lockdown” because of the situation at UC Berkeley. No one will be allowed to leave or enter the schools.

UC Berkeley was mostly quiet late Thursday morning as the search continued, though several helicopters were hovering overhead.

Authorities appeared to focus their attention on the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building on Sproul Plaza. Several police officers could be seen stationed outside building, where they turned away some students who tried to enter; a sign taped to one door warned that the union was closed.

The alert was prompted by an “active shooter threat situation,” according to an email sent by Andrea Lambert, the chief of staff to UC Berkeley’s executive vice chancellor and provost, to campus administrators Thursday morning. The subject of the alert is “a student who has been placed on interim suspension for threatening behavior,” Lambert wrote.

Reached by phone Thursday morning, UC Berkeley Police Lt. Sabrina Reich said she was not able to provide additional information because police were still investigating.

As police responded to a report of a threat on the UC Berkeley campus, sign on the door of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union warned that the facility is closed. Credit: Ally Markovich
Supriya Yelimeli is Berkeleyside's homelessness and housing reporter. Email: supriya@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: SupriyaYelimeli. Phone: 510-585-8315.
Nico Savidge is Berkeleyside's senior reporter covering city hall. Email: nico@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: NSavidge.
Ally Markovich covers education for Berkeleyside. Email: ally@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: allymarkovich.