5 days of school shootings, lockdowns, scares jolt U.S. campuses

Every day this week a shooting, lockdown or scare jolted five campuses across the nation.

5) Friday: South Carolina State University was locked down for several hours Friday afternoon after a fatal shooting outside a dormitory left one student dead. Authorities are searching for at least four suspects off campus, University Police Chief Mernard Clarkson told reporters.

4) Thursday: Columbine High School, where 12 students were killed in a 1999 shooting, was placed on “lockout” for several hours as police investigated telephone threats made to the school, in Littleton, Colo.


The lockout, which was lifted several hours later, prevented anyone from entering or leaving the school but classes remained in session.

3) Wednesday: A reported shooting at the University of Oklahoma prompted a campus lockdown, emergency text alerts to students and a police response. Authorities determined there was no sign that shots were fired and no reported injuries in what turned out to be a false alarm.

2) Tuesday: At Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Andrew Boldt, 21, a teaching assistant, was stabbed and shot to death in an engineering building classroom. Cody Cousins, 23, a fellow TA, has been charged with murder in the killing.

1) Monday: At Widener University, a small college near Philadelphia, a student was shot and injured Monday evening near the campus athletic center.

University spokesman Dan Hanson told the Los Angeles Times in an email that “all indications are that this was not a random act of violence.”

Over the last year, high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools have been crime scenes. Many students who arrive at college campuses today are familiar with lockdown drills, Times staff writers Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Matt Pearce reported.

Under federal law, police must notify campus communities of possible threats, sometimes before investigators have time to learn whether the threats are credible.


Alert lifted at Columbine High School

What’s at issue in Texas battle over brain-dead pregnant woman

25 dead pilot whales found off Florida: 5 things to help understand it

Twitter: @saba_h