*See next page for updates to this story.
Cal State Long Beach is under police lockdown right now, according to the school's Twitter feed. The announcement states that police are “engaging threat” and urged students to “obey officials.”
Original Post, Aug. 13, 4 p.m.: “An ARMED SUBJECT is in the area of Palo Verde Ave and parking lot 9,” says one tweet. “Evacuate if you are able, seek shelter if you are unable to evacuate.”
One student responded to the tweet by asking if it was part of a drill that apparently happened earlier today.
“No this is not part of the drill that happened earlier today,” the school responded. “Please evacuate the area or seek shelter.”
Stay tuned and stay safe, kids!
Update, Aug. 13, 4:10 p.m.: Don't you love happy endings? @csulb is now tweeting that “the situation on campus is all clear. There is no threat on campus. Classes will be held as scheduled, and business to return as usual.”
Update, Aug 14, 12:40 p.m.: City News service (CNS) has solved the mystery, reporting there was never any real emergency yesterday afternoon because the gun in question “turned out to be a cell phone.”
CNS attributed this news to Sergeant David Marander of the Long Beach Police Department, who, given how quickly officials reacted to the report and spread the word of a possible gunman, cautioned people to not ignore future campus tweets. “It's probably better to be safe than sorry,'' concluded Marander.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).