CYPRESS, California- Cypress College will be holding a campus forum this Tuesday, March 6, at CCCPLX-414, concerning the recent morning closure of the campus on Monday, March 5. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend and have any questions or concerns they have related to the incident addressed.
The campus was closed after Whittier police received information Sunday night that a former student had sent threatening text messages expressing his intent to shoot up a school and then commit suicide, according to a Facebook post released by the Whittier Police Department.
“Really the intent of the forum is to provide an opportunity for the community to understand how we respond to situations like this,” said Marc Posner, the Director of Campus Communications at Cypress College.
While not identified by name as of now, the Whittier Police has stated the suspect is a 24 year old male who last attended Cypress College, prompting the school to take precautionary measures and close the campus. The Cypress Police Department was also requested to increase their patrols of the campus, said Posner.
The suspect has since been detained by Whittier Police after being located in Pico Rivera and is undergoing a mental evaluation. The Whittier Police has not stated as of yet when the suspect is set to be released.
Alex Salcedo, a communications student at Cypress College, stated concerning information released that “administrators have done a great job. I don’t think they need to release anything else,” saying that any further release of information would, “aggravate things.”
Other students remain more apprehensive, such as computer engineering student Anthony Blass. “I believe we should know who he is, so we can be alert,” said Blass. Jabier Tinoco, an 18 year old student at Cypress College, stated that he would like to “just be notified when he is released. Just to be safe,” adding that he felt no need to know the suspect’s identity.
A Cypress College press release sent out to students and staff indicated that the threat received more credibility due to the student’s prior history with the school, which includes a 2016 arrest for felony vandalism, as well as erratic behavior at the school over the last two weeks.
Cypress College President JoAnna Schillling went on to thank Cypress and Whittier police for their “quick response to this issue,” adding that she was, “proud to say that our emergency processes and procedures worked and that our campus immediately reached out to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” according to the same press release.
The forum will include statements by Schilling and Campus Safety, who intend on answering any questions or concerns. Campus community members are also encouraged to provide feedback through an online forum, accessible at http://bit.ly/2FgsTkU.
Revised on March 5, at 5:30pm to included statements from Cypress College Director of Campus Communications, Marc Posner