Quick action helps students feel safe during shooting

Quick action helps students feel safe during shooting

Julie Mana-Ay

News Editor

 

LANCASTER, Calif. — Antelope Valley College was placed on lockdown around noon Wednesday, Oct. 5, due to a threat of violence against the college.

AVC campus was on lockdown as it was notified that there was an armed suspect in the vicinity of the college.

 

First-year psychology major Kaylee Galvez said that some of her classmates went to the bathroom but ran back when campus police told them there was an active shooter.

“Everyone starts freaking out,” Galvez said. “I was in the math engineering building. I heard the gunshots. Someone goes ‘were those gunshots?’ That’s one thing that hit me, which made it more real.”

But in a moment that could have been traumatic for students, the police department, staff and faculty responded quickly to the situation and helped the students feel safe.

“Our staff and faculty rose to the occasion and calmed the students down,” Interim Dean of Antelope Valley Randy Schultz said.

Third-year engineering student Cecilia Contreras said she felt secure during the lockdown.

“While all that was going on, people were texting each other, snapchatting each other. We had friends in the cafeteria; they thought that something was going to happen. People were really scared. On my side, I was fine; the doors were locked,” said Contreras.

AVC issued a “shelter-in-place” for all students in the area, including high schools near the area.

Students were locked down in their classrooms or buildings from 1 to 2:54 p.m.

Though an alert was sent out to all CSUB students that classes were canceled, AVC students still continued classes but stayed in their classrooms until the lockdown was lifted.

Executive Director of Marketing and Public Information of Antelope Valley College Liz Diachun said at 12:45 p.m. the campus’ L.A. Sheriff Department sub-station notified them of an armed suspect near AVC.

“We went ahead and put the shelter-in-place notice,” said Diachun.

While there was never any indication that the suspect came on the perimeter of campus or was approaching campus, there was still an alert sent out to students around 1 p.m.

“It was a matter of the fact that it was happening in the vicinity that made us put that in place,” said Diachun.

According to the AVC campus safety and security annual report, “all AVC locations will have yearly active shooter drills that are not to be confused with the emergency evacuation drills.

The active shooter drills are conducted site-wide rather than by Drill Zone and have, so far, required shelter-in-place activity rather than evacuations.”

Throughout the lockdown, students, faculty and staff remained calm about the situation and stayed in their shelters.

“One of the maintenance guys said there was a drill and to lock the door,” Contreras said. “Then later, the soccer coach came in saying to lock doors and that no one was leaving so everyone was stuck here. The teacher kept going on with the class.”

 

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a burglary and when they arrived they found the gunman who has been identified as Trenton Trevon Lovell, 27.

According to KTLA, Lovell shot an LASD deputy and Sgt. Steve Owen.

However, he didn’t stop there.

Lovell stood over Owen before shooting him four more times and killing him.

Lovell attempted to flee the scene and escape, but LASD caught up to him, and he surrendered.

He is facing one count of murder with special circumstance allegations of murder for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest and murder of a police officer.

Schultz described his work day as regular day until noon hit.

“A student came in and thought she heard gunshots,” said Schultz. “I got up, walked around campus and saw a lot of sirens. There were rumors saying an officer was shot and 15 minutes later, they told us to go on lockdown.”

Both Antelope Valley College and CSUB Antelope Valley were on lockdown.

Schultz said it was an intense day for everyone in Antelope Valley.

“The Bakersfield campus had our back,” he said. “The administration was there for us. These things happen. It’s been 10 years since a deputy has been killed in a line of duty. I’m not worried about the safety of our campus. It could happen anywhere. We did a really good job on the lockdown.”