Los Angeles, California - Two men died this morning in an apparent murder-suicide in the Engineering IV building at UCLA. The shootings caused a campus-wide lockdown and resulted in canceled classes and evening activities.
“Our hearts are heavy this evening as our campus family mourns the sudden and tragic deaths of two people on our campus earlier today,” said Chancellor Gene Block in an email to the entire UCLA community. “The thoughts and prayers of our entire UCLA family are with the victims’ families and the students, faculty and staff of UCLA Engineering.
“Our UCLA family has indeed been shaken, but we will rely upon the strong bonds of our community and our faith in one another as we begin the process of healing.”
The names of the adult males who were found shot in the engineering building have not been released. The deaths are under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
UCLA is providing counselors for students, faculty and staff. Students have been instructed to contact CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) while faculty and staff can avail themselves of the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center. See below for further details.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh said that classes, except in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, would resume Thursday morning and that the incident would not affect final examinations, which begin next week, or commencement ceremonies.
“We want to resume normal operations as quickly as possible so we will resume scheduled classes tomorrow morning,” Waugh said. “Faculty, staff and students should show up tomorrow and go through their regular routines and complete the quarter as planned.”
Engineering classes would be canceled for the rest of the week, Waugh said. “Obviously there’s a lot of very distressed students, faculty and staff. And our goal within the school is to heal those wounds and make sure that they feel comfortable with the situation before resuming normal activities.”
Following reports of the shooting, which occurred around 10 a.m., UCLA officials placed the campus on lockdown and alerted everyone to shelter in place.
“We immediately put out a Bruin alert — that’s our campus alert notification system to advise all of those in our campus community of an incident that occurred that could be dangerous to them,” UCLA Police Chief James Herren during a press conference. “And we requested them to stay out of the area.”
Herren said that hundreds of law enforcement authorities responded to the shooting, including police officers from UCLA, the Los Angeles Police Department and Santa Monica College along with agents from the FBI and ATF. Los Angeles city firefighters also responded to the reports of a shooter on campus.
“It is something that we have trained to do,” Herren said. “So when our officers arrived on scene they immediately began putting teams together that are considered rescue teams to help those who have been injured and also search teams to look for suspects who may be in the area.”
By 12:05 p.m., LAPD Chief Charlie Beck had declared that the campus was safe and the lockdown was lifted. Shortly after, the BruinAlert system sent an all-clear message to the campus community via email and text message.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by what appears to have been a murder-suicide on the campus of UCLA,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement issued in the afternoon. “This horrific event, at an institution dedicated to learning and mutual understanding, reminds us once again of the fragility of a peaceful society. Thankfully, the campus is now safe — but I am heartbroken by the sight of SWAT teams running down avenues normally filled with students, and angered by the fear that one person with a firearm can inflict on a community. I want to commend the entire UCLA community for its extraordinary grace and calm on a traumatic morning.”
Waugh, UCLA's provost, praised local law enforcement for its cooperation and timeliness.
“I also want to thank all the law enforcement agencies of Southern California who reacted so quickly to help secure the scene and help us prevent further damage to the campus,” said Waugh, adding that that in the wake of the tragedy, UCLA officials will continue to examine all its procedures that relate to an active shooting, specifically about the security of individual rooms.
“We’ve heard all kinds of reports and we want to look at each one of them and make sure that the campus is as secure as possible, make sure that students and faculty and staff will be safe in the locations that they have, so yes, we will review everything very, very thoroughly,” Waugh said during a late afternoon press conference.
“We’ve gone through many scenarios in the past and we’ll continue to do that,” Waugh said earlier in the day. “We’ll learn from this event and we’ll learn how we need to work as cooperatively as possible with the different law enforcement agencies to make sure that we can handle these kind of situations effectively and safely for the students, faculty and staff.”
The Engineering IV building remains an active investigation site, with LAPD taking the lead, Waugh said.
Counseling will be available for students through Counseling and Psychological Services on the following schedule:
- Open for walk-ins until 7 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
- Open for walk-ins from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (and potentially longer) on Friday.
- Drop-in group counseling available at CAPS at 5 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. Thursday and Friday.
Also, UCLA established designated healing spaces for students to come together:
- Hedrick Hall lounge at 3:30 p.m.
- De Neve Plaza Room at 3:30 p.m.
- CAPS large conference room at 5 p.m.
- Sproul Hall lecture room at 7 p.m.
Faculty and staff can get counseling in the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center, which is located in Suite 380 of the Wilshire Center, preferably by appointment but walk-ins are available. The counseling center will remain open tonight until 10 p.m. It will be open on Thursday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For information or appointments call 310-794-0245.
People can attend debriefings with counselors at the following times and locations:
- Thursday: Luskin School of Public Affairs, Room 2343 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Moore Hall, Room 100 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Friday: Luskin School of Public Affairs, Room 2343 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. and Math Sciences, Room 3915A 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.