Philadelphia college evacuated after student allegedly pulls gun

In a scene all too familiar on school campuses, police say a young man angry at a fellow student walked into a college classroom and pulled out a gun Wednesday, sending students fleeing and prompting a lockdown as police searched for the man.

No shots were fired, and police and officials at the Community College of Philadelphia, which has more than 34,000 students, emphasized that this was never an "active shooter" situation. A suspect was arrested within three hours of the incident.


But it came less than a week after a 22-year-old man went on a rampage near UC Santa Barbara, stabbing and shooting to death six people before killing himself.

"I was completely terrified," said David Fowler Jr., a student who was in the Philadelphia classroom where he said the gunman appeared. Fowler, speaking to the ABC affiliate WPVI-TV, said he saw a student come into class and start arguing with a male student.

"He pulled out a gun, and that's when everyone ran out of the classroom," Fowler said.

The college quickly ordered students and staff to shelter in place. A nearby high school also was placed on lockdown. People on both campuses were allowed to leave after police determined that the gunman no longer was at the college.

The lockdowns were lifted after the suspect, identified as Ryan Fitch, 23, was arrested at his apartment.

Police and witnesses said it was unclear what had led to the argument between Fitch and the other student. Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters there had been an "altercation" involving Fitch's girlfriend earlier in the day.

"Apparently the male in question took issue with someone else in the class and he allegedly brandished a gun as a result," Ross said.