The lockdown worried some students, but communication from university police officials eased their concerns.
Oklahoma City and OCU police began searching for a suspect who was seen driving to a campus parking lot after a drive-by shooting south of the university was called in. A Blue Alert was sent out at about 2 p.m. Feb. 15 announcing a university lockdown. It was cleared about 50 minutes later.
Cole Cloutier, music theater sophomore, said he was in piano class when the alerts went out, but students in the class thought it was just a drill. Once they realized it wasn’t, students became concerned.
“Everyone in class was quiet mostly, and we were all just frantically checking social media to find out anymore information we could,” he said. “It was a very surreal moment in my life.”
Cloutier’s professor, Heejin Jang, was happy that students were safe and just reminded them of their quiz next week.
“I was more upset about it than she was since I needed the practice time and help,” Cloutier said.
Lucas Haupert, acting senior, was studying for a midterm scheduled for 2:30 p.m. when he received the Blue Alert.
“I was studying for the test, which ironically, I was terrified of failing,” he said. “When I got the Blue Alert, I was at first confused, thinking ‘Lockdown? Here?’ I wasn’t scared at first, but then the alerts kept coming, and I grew increasingly more worried with every notification.”
Haupert said he even thought about the possibility of losing a friend or dying.
“I stayed in contact with all of my friends via multiple group chats to ensure they we were all safe,” he said.
His professor allowed people to take the midterm if they were able to but will allow others to take it next week, Haupert said. He said he was thankful university officials kept students informed.
“They kept us updated the entire time and ensured that all the students stayed safe during the situation. They sent us an email containing a recap of everything that happened during the lockdown, so that the students could stay informed,” he said. “I really appreciated that.”
Bradd Brown, chief of police, said officials lifted the Blue Alert because the suspect’s car was not found on campus, so the suspect was likely already gone. Oklahoma City police will continue investigating the case.
The car was a 2010 Chevrolet HHR. The suspect was a black male wearing a black hoodie, Brown said.
To report any information to campus police, call the department at 405-208-5001.
Video by Emily Haan.