Community College of Philadelphia students were told to shelter in place at the main campus as police searched for a gunman who entered a building after getting into an argument with a student Tuesday morning.
Police investigated as students were told to stay in place inside the Winnet Student Life Building along 17th Street near Spring Garden Street in the city’s Spring Garden section around 9:30 a.m. due to a report of a person with a gun, Philadelphia Police said.
Witnesses told officers that two men who knew each other got into an argument on the street outside the Winnet Building. At some point the one man — a former student described as being around 5-foot, 4-inches tall wearing gray pants and a blue hoodie — pulled a gun on the other man, who is a student, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
“He was seen going into that building,” said Ramsey.
Officers searched the building and found no gunman, said Ramsey. It was possible the gunman left before police arrived.
Police didn’t call the incident an active shooter case and said they were working to clear the campus.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) October 6, 2015
Police said they had no reports of any injuries. Initially, the college only announced that the Winnet Building was put on lockdown. By 11 a.m., the lockdown spread to the entire main campus as officials asked students to shelter in place.
Police Activity on Campus. Main campus is locked down at this point. Shelter in place in progress.
— CC of Philadelphia (@CCPedu) October 6, 2015
As SkyForce10 hovered overhead multiple law enforcement vehicles could be seen blocking roads outside the college. You could also see students with backpacks leaving buildings on campus ahead of police locking down the rest of campus.
Nearby Julia R. Masterman School and the Colonnade Condos were placed on lockdown as police investigated the incident.
Students said that while they were told to remain in nearby campus buildings, they were able to move around on the floor.
The incident came a day after the ATF and FBI told Philadelphia area colleges and universities to be on alert after a nondescript online threat of violence. That threat came to light following a shooting at a Oregon community college where a gunman killed nine people and injured nine others.
Ramsey said he didn’t believe the man’s motive had anything to do with this threat.
More than 34,000 students attend CCP.
This isn’t the first gun scare at CCP. Back in May 2014 a student brandished a gun in the West Building of the college’s main campus because he was allegedly upset over another student ratting on him. The gunman in that case Ryan Fitch is serving four years of probation on weapons charges.