Aug 05, 2020
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400 evacuated from education building

Students, faculty and staff were evacuated Wednesday night from Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education building after a call was made to the University Police Department concerning an unattended briefcase.

The University Police Department received a call Wednesday at 7:24 p.m. from a person who reported the briefcase. After officers were unable to locate the owner of the briefcase, officials treated it as a suspicious circumstance.

According to campus officials, campus police notified the Fresno Police Department bomb investigation unit and it investigated the briefcase, which was left in the lower level of the education building.

The briefcase ended up containing only paperwork; it will be returned to its owner.

“We just took the proper precautions,� Amy Armstrong, the public information officer for campus police, said. “We followed our procedures.�

University Police evacuated about 400 people from the building, which was closed for about three hours. Everything was clear by 11:30 p.m. last night and the building was reopened. Classes also resumed today.

According to public information specialist Tom Uribes, 306 students are enrolled in the classes that were evacuated. Of the 13 classes scheduled in the Kremen Education building, eight were undergraduate classes, three were graduate classes and two were extended education classes.

Armstrong said she did not know whether it was a student or staff member who reported the briefcase to campus police nor what the caller said.

“We’ve encouraged people to report suspicious circumstances. We take calls seriously,� she said.

Armstrong said some people are still thinking about the Virginia Tech tragedy and may fear a copycat event on the campus, and the recent shooting may have prompted the call to police.

“I think people just are on heightened alert,� Armstrong said. “We might be getting calls more. It’s still fresh on their minds.�

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