FAU police chief, president address public - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

FAU police chief, president address public

Charles Lowe, Chief Police of FAU:

"Charles Lowe. With me is President Frank Brogan, president of Florida Atlantic University. And I want to just give you a few of the basic facts about what happened on the campus this [Wednesday] morning.

"At about 1:16 a.m., we received a transfer call from the Boca emergency communications center, and we received a report of possible gunshots fired in the university apartments. Officers responded. Officers were on-scene in less than three minutes.

"A preliminary investigation, they determined there were some shell casings on the floor, and they began notification procedure at the same time that they started conducting an investigation.

"Preliminary investigation indicates that there was a student sponsored party going on. Altercation broke out, and, ultimately, our suspect pulled out a firearm, and we believe fired two shots.

"There was one slight injury in the altercation, and, at that point, the investigation is still ongoing.

"We do have some good leads, but interviews are still underway, and we don't have any further information about the person other than we have released photos of a person of interest in the investigation.

"I think that was distributed to the media. We activated our siren public address system at about 1:45. I think is the time. And alerted the campus to the fact that we did have a gunman on campus.

"And, at that point, we also started initiating our other emergency notification devices, including reverse 9-1-1. There was mass e-mail sent out and notification placed on the university Web site.

"With that, I think I'll pass it to President Broguen."

President Frank Brogan, President of FAU:

"Chief Lowe, thank you. It's Frank Brogan, President of Florida Atlantic University. The chief has given you some of the details regarding what we've been dealing with all night and this morning.

"What I would like to say, first of all, is thank you to Chief Lowe, Deputy Chief Totten, all the men and women of law enforcement - not only here at Florida Atlantic University, but our partners with the city of Boca Raton - who were on-scene in just a matter of moments having taken that initial intake 9-1-1 call and who have been here ever since supporting us.

"I also want to thank our staff, who came together, as chief mentioned, beginning at 1:30 this [Wednesday] morning to go about the business of securing the campus and getting our communication links ready to go. I also want to thank members of the media. You've been very helpful this [Wednesday] morning in getting our message out to the FAU community and the community at-large.

"As Chief Lowe mentioned, the siren system was activated virtually, immediately, after it was determined that there was, in fact, a shooting here on the FAU Boca Raton campus. That system has been in place for about 60 days. Hasn't yet been fully tested, and, yet, we were very pleased that - not only did the sirens sound around campus but also the public - indicating there was an emergency on [the Boca Raton] campus. People should move indoors and into shelter and safety. So a brand-new system that did seem to work.

"We're now going to be debriefing the rest of our new technologies to find out just how sufficient they were: mass e-mails, mass text messages and phone calls to our reverse 9-1-1 system which was simultaneously activated, again, with a message communicated that there was an emergency on this campus, and that if people were here, they should seek safety indoors, and that if they were yet on campus, they should know that campus was in a state of lock down, and they would not be permitted to come on campus until further notice. So those systems of course appear to work.

"Generally, we will debrief this to find out if there were glitches in the system, and things we need to adapt along the way.

"Again, this is about the great response of our friends in law enforcement, and the fact they were able to secure the scene and begin their investigation, and, of course, the search for the individual who is their suspect at this point.

"Our status, we have made the determination that we will, on the Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus, remain in a state of lock down until we feel comfortable that the individual in question has been either apprehended or identified elsewhere, away from campus.

"Now, that not only means not allowing people on campus during the course of the day, all of Wednesday and Wednesday night, it also means that our 2,400 on-campus residents will remain in a state of lock down in their residence facilities until which time today [Wednesday] we feel comfortable as though they might be provided access to the out of doors. So that is our status today.

"And, by the way, and importantly, that is the FAU Boca Raton Campus, as we have seven campuses and sites in Broward, Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast. It's only the main campus, Boca Raton, FAU. That also constitutes our branch campus partners of Palm Beach Community College. They will be closed.

"I spoke with their president for the remainder of Wednesday. It also constitutes closure for today [Wednesday] of the A.D. Henderson Laboratory School K through 12, as well as the Slattery Child Care Center.

"All of that information has been technologically communicated. And, of course, we communicated with the president of PBCC, as well as the people who administer both of those other educational institutions.

"We also are notifying people who are connected with any special events that would take place on the Boca Raton Campus, that those events will be canceled for today [Wednesday].

Our status will remain as lock down for the foreseeable future. Certainly, we will remain closed for the rest of the day, even if the lock down is lifted. We anticipate a re-opening tomorrow [Thursday] morning.

That is Thursday, for all events, all activities on the Boca Raton-FAU Campus. But, we will update people throughout the course of the day, and, then, affirm that positively later on in the day when we feel comfortable we're in a position to do so.

"This case appears to be very isolated, unlike some of the other cases we've seen around the country on university campuses. We are very, very happy that no one was seriously injured as a result.

"But, I think, it once again sends a clear message that preparedness is critical import in the 21st century on every university and school campus. And that, as we continue to better organize ourselves in the wake of some of the tragedies that we've seen unfold, we're already seeing the benefit of some of the changes that we've made. And, yet, we know that all of us in today's world are at the mercy of individuals. And, therefore, we have to be secure in the knowledge we've done everything humanly possible to see after the health, safety and welfare of those with whom we are charged in that regard."

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