Campus officials provide details about Haas School shooting

BERKELEY —

Following a shooting incident this afternoon at the Haas School of Business, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and UC Berkeley Police Chief Mitch Celaya described the events that led campus police to shoot a man wielding a gun in a computer lab.

The shooting occurred at about 2:25 p.m., according to police, who described the suspect as a white male in his 20s wearing a blue jacket and backpack. The man was transported to Highland Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Campus leaders at a press conference about the Haas School shooting
Chancellor Birgeneau, flanked by Police Chief Mitch Celaya (right) and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer, speaks at Tuesday's California Hall press conference.

Celaya said there is nothing at this point in the investigation to suggest a connection between the shooting and the Occupy Cal activities taking place on campus.

“I cannot tell you how sorry I am that we are having this press conference,” Birgeneau. told reporters who gathered at California Hall for a 4 p.m. news briefing. He called the shooting “very upsetting,” adding that he had been pleased with how peaceful student demonstrations had been earlier today.

Celaya said that at 2:17 p.m., the UCPD got a 911 call about a man who reportedly had a gun in a backpack at the Haas School of Business. At 2:19 p.m., three officers arrived at the school and found the suspect in a computer lab on the third floor. The suspect pulled a gun out of his backpack, the police chief said, and displayed it “in a threatening manner.”

The chancellor said there were four students in the vicinity of the suspect and the officers, and that “it appeared students’ lives might be at risk.”

After the officers told the man “numerous times” to drop his weapon, one of the three officers fired at the suspect, Celaya said. No one else was injured in the incident.

The Haas school was temporarily evacuated, but was reopened (except for the computer lab) later Tuesday afternoon.

Birgeneau and Celaya provided further details about the 911 call to police, saying that a staff member had been in an elevator at the Haas School and noticed a man with a gun in his backpack. The suspect got off the elevator at the 3rd floor, but the staffer continued to another floor and told her boss what she had seen. The pair called UC police and then went to the computer lab and saw the suspect there.

Following the shooting, the suspect was transported to the hospital.

This afternoon, at least 1,200 protesters gathered at Sproul Plaza for a rally, and the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, given by professor Robert Reich, is scheduled for 8 p.m. this evening.

Check the UC Berkeley NewsCenter for updates.