Cal Poly Pomona security officer killed, suspect fatally shot on campus
A Cal Poly Pomona security officer was killed Friday in a violent altercation that ended when police fatally shot the attacker.
Pomona Police Chief Michael Olivieri announced the incident on Twitter and said one of his agency’s officers had been involved in the shooting.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the incident told The Times that the security officer, 37, was stabbed and slashed in the neck. When police arrived, officers opened fire on the 31-year-old male suspect.
He and the victim were pronounced dead at the two scenes. Their names were not released.
The suspect may have been a custodian employed by the school, said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the incident.
“The scene was quite brutal — a lot of blood,” Corina said. “It looked like the suspect even cut himself during the attack.”
The stabbing took place in the 3500 block of Pomona Boulevard about 4:30 p.m. The victim was found on the front seat of a truck parked on campus.
Los Angeles County Fire received a call from Cal Poly Police about 4:55 p.m. about a person acting erratically.
About that same time, the suspect was shot four blocks away, near the intersection of University Drive and Temple Avenue, Corina said. A knife was recovered from the scene.
A campus safety alert sent out at 5 p.m. advised people to stay away from Lanterman Developmental Center and the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.
Authorities searched the campus as a precaution but determined that there was no threat. No other injuries were reported.
Olivieri said it was the calls and help from the public that quickly led police to the suspect. “You see something, you say something — that’s so true, and that’s what happened in this incident.”
Tim Lynch, a spokesman for Cal Poly Pomona, stressed that the day’s events were “an anomaly.”
“I want to assure the incoming freshman and their families, this is a very safe community,” he said.
The university will make grief counselors available to the campus community, as well as an after-hours crisis support line.
“We grieve with the family members and loved ones mourning the loss of life today,” the university’s president, Soraya Coley, said in a statement.
With its commencement held two weeks ago, Cal Poly Pomona — which enrolls more than 25,000 students — was quieter than usual Friday afternoon.
Melanie Mota, 16, had just finished her college prep summer program for the day and was near the school’s soccer fields when a helicopter suddenly appeared and the sound of police sirens grew close.
The Chaffey High School junior immediately worried there could be a gunman on campus.
“With all the shootings that have been happening, that’s really the first thing that comes to mind,” Melanie said.
“It shows what our generation has gone through — shootings in all these places around the world. It kind of gets to you. And what if it gets worse?”
It wasn’t until after she arrived at her Ontario home that Melanie learned the details of the incident.
“I was far from where it happened, which brings some relief,” she said. “But just knowing you were in the same place and at the same time where all of this was happening is scary.”
firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @lacrimes
email@example.com | Twitter: @corinaknoll
10:35 p.m.: This article was updated with quotes from authorities and the university.
9:55 p.m.: This article was updated with information about the suspect and the victim.
9:15 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information from authorities and a student.
6:50 p.m.: This article was updated with information about a call made to the L.A. County Fire Department and a campus safety alert.
6:30 p.m.: This article was updated with a new narrative of the incident.
This article was originally posted at 6:05 p.m.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.