A gunman in camouflage gear who opened fire inside an Ohio university business school, killing at least one person and injuring another, was captured early today after a seven-hour siege.
The stand-off which began yesterday ended with police taking a suspect into custody.
“We believe he is the shooter or one of the shooters,” said Police Chief Edward Lohn. He did not elaborate.
Lohn said about 70 people had been in the Peter B Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and that most had been rescued. He would not discuss injuries, saying family members had not been notified.
Police sealed off the sprawling building after the shooting began at about 4pm local time. The gunman was believed to be inside, along with an unknown number of terrified students and staff who had locked themselves in rooms.
“We’re all shaking and quite scared. One of the girls in our office is seven months’ pregnant – we’re trying to keep her as calm as possible,” Tracy Warner, 30, told The Associated Press from a third-floor office where she hid with several other people.
University Hospital spokeswoman Janice Guhl said a man brought to the hospital died. She did not release details of his injuries, and said no others from the business school were taken to University Hospital.
Denise Smith, a spokeswoman at Huron Hospital, said one man was in good condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the buttocks.
In addition to the two people shot, an unknown number of people were taken out of the building and placed on stretchers. Further details were not available and it was not clear if any had been shot.
Police had begged the gunman to call them, but by early evening, 24 SWAT team officers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests had moved inside.
Shots were heard intermittently until at least 5.30pm About four hours after the shooting began, rescuers began taking people out of the building.
A student who escaped, Sachin Goel, 26, was standing near the cafeteria with two friends when the gunman approached and opened fire. One of his friends screamed as he was hit, and the others dived for cover under a table.
“He couldn’t get us. And then he again shot as we turned the table and put it in front of us,” Goel said.
“He was indiscriminately firing at everyone and a sane person would not be doing that.”
Police said the man was believed to be wielding a high-powered rifle.
“He was just walking, aiming his guns and firing,” said LeKisha Spencer, 28, who works in the first-floor cafeteria. She said he was carrying a “machine gun” and book bag, and was wearing a camouflage shirt and military-style green hat.
Administrative assistant Bonnie Copes, 50, who was locked in a department office inside the building, said she heard repeated gunshots.
“Rounds and rounds and rounds,” she said.