UPDATE: SSCC locked down briefly after "credible threat" made by student
SSCC offered a press release update on yesterday's campus lockdown:
Late Thursday afternoon a student reported a threat of gun violence on campus by another student. Campus Security and Seattle Police were immediately called, and Seattle Police began investigating on campus. The college also instituted “shelter in place” precautions, which included locking buildings and rooms, and notifying staff and students. Once Seattle Police confirmed that no threat was present on campus, the “all clear” was given. The student making the threat has been contacted and is suspended from campus pending a conduct investigation.
Using the phrase “lock down” in our message may have been stronger than necessary, but our first reaction was to be protective until more was known about the situation. And, had there been an active threat, there are other emergency communication tools that would have been used.
The college regularly conducts emergency preparedness training sessions and emergency drills. We will review our response to this situation in order to continue improving our safety and security on campus.
Regarding the pistol found in the backpack on campus in December, that student faced disciplinary action through the normal student conduct process. Student privacy laws prevent us from discussing the specific result.
(End of press release)
SSCC has preparedness plans for nearly every imaginable emergency, from natural disasters to communicable diseases and hazardous material spills.
In the case of an “intruder/suspicious person on campus,” SSCC recommends, “If an armed or threatening intruder comes onto (SSCC) property, it is very important that faculty, staff and or students report it immediately and take protective actions (in the case above, the threat was reported by another student).
From there, the school breaks reactions into two different scenarios: whether you are in a classroom or office, or caught in an open or exposed area.
If you are in an enclosed room, SSCC recommends locking all doors and windows, calling 911, closing blinds or curtains, turning off lights and electronics and staying put until authorities arrive.
If someone found themselves in a more open area, SSCC recommends finding a hiding spot if possible, running (“… if you think you can safely make it out of the area” in a zig-zag pattern, putting as many objects as possible between you and the shooter), playing dead, and, as a last resort, fighting back.
“Your last option if you are caught in the open and are in close proximity of the intruder is to fight back,” SSCC’s manual reads. “This is dangerous and not recommended, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option … If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and avoid eye contact.”
South Seattle Community College was placed in lockdown for approximately 30 minutes on the afternoon of Jan. 3 after a student made a "credible threat," prompting the school to contact Seattle Police, according to school security.
The specifics of the threat were not revealed, but SSCC Security said the threat came in around 3:10 p.m.
Seattle Police responded to the scene and gave the all clear within a half hour after it became apparent the student was no longer on campus.
There were no injuries reported.
SSCC is located at 6000 16th Avenue S.W.
This story will be updated when more details become available.