Wednesday night, as I enjoyed the company of a long time friend, our time together was abruptly interrupted by a call from a professor at California State University, Fullerton. My best friend, Rob Piluso, was set to give a speech to creative writing students at the campus. However, it was invariably canceled due to two armed gunmen seeking out a place to hide from police.
The whole debacle began in Moreno Valley where the suspects robbed a pawn shop, seriously wounding one person. They fled from police, leading them on a high speed chase. Three men fled on foot, two seeking refuge on the campus and one carjacking an innocent bystander. The carjacker then led police on another high speed chase that ended in Watts. The two who entered the university campus prompted a sweep of the campus. SWAT was called in to search for the suspects. One was apprehended, but the other is still at large.
Through the whole incident, thousands of students who are preparing for finals found themselves on lock down. They were not allowed to leave their rooms for hours, until the suspects at large were in custody or not found to be a threat.
As an adjunct instructor at Cal State Fullerton and as a former student there, I must commend my alma mater for the system it has in place to keep its students and faculty safe. They often have drills for this very scenario, and it has proven to be effective and has prepared everyone on its campus to know exactly what to do in an emergency of this kind.
I am glad to know that everyone is safe and there were no casualties. To my students, I will see you in class in a couple of hours!