Man captured after 6-hour standoff at Case Western Reserve campus
From NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES
CLEVELAND, May 9 -- Two people were reported dead Friday night after
an unidentified man opened fire at the management school at Case
Western Reserve University. Police stormed the building and began
retrieving people who were trapped inside, and took the gunman into custody at about 10 p.m. Friday.
NBC AFFILIATE WKYC-TV quoted witnesses as
saying the gunman took five to 12 hostages, while 40 to 50 other
people hid in locked offices and under tables.
Authorities told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland that two men in
the building were dead.
During the seige, people inside the building said by
telephone that word was spreading that he may have escaped after
changing into fresh clothing he was carrying in a backpack.
A third man, who was struck outside the building, was reported
in stable condition with a gunshot wound in the buttocks, hospital
officials said, while a pregnant woman was also being treated for a
gunshot. No details on her condition were immediately available.
Police Chief Edward Lohn told reporters that officers were
searching the building room by room in a rescue operation.
GLASS DOOR SMASHED
Police said the gunman used a sledgehammer to break a glass
door to enter the Peter B. Lewis Building, an internationally famous
architectural landmark, about 4:15 p.m. EDT and began firing randomly
with an automatic weapon. Michael Moore, a university security
official, told MSNBC-TV that the man was not believed to be a student.
The gunshots stopped about 5:45 p.m., but the
gunman remained at large. Hostage negotiators, an FBI team and
officers from other police departments around Cleveland arrived to
provide support late in the afternoon.
About 6 p.m., the sound of a muffled explosion could be heard, Jim
Carter, a disk jockey for WRUW-FM, the campus radio station, told
There was no immediate explanation, but police special weapons and
tactics teams often detonate what is known as a "flash-bang"
concussive device to disorient a suspect before undertaking a
tactical assault. Twenty to 30 SWAT officers, their weapons drawn,
stormed the building shortly thereafter, WKYC reported.
GUNMAN MAY HAVE ESCAPED
A Cleveland man who asked that his name not be used told WKYC
that his father, who was hiding under his desk along with two women
inside the building, told him by telephone that gunfire could again
be heard about 7 p.m.
As word spread that the gunman may have escaped, SWAT
officers began entering neighboring buildings, and police asked
television reporters to divert their cameras, WKYC reported.
Police canine units were brought to the scene to begin
searching the surrounding area, and emergency crews in bulletproof
vests began bringing a number of people out of the building.
A man trapped inside the building said the gunman may have
escaped after changing into fresh clothing he was carrying in a
Three people were treated at the scene after the
emergency crews retrieved them Friday evening, WKYC reported. Their
conditions and the nature of their wounds were not immediately
available, but one of them, a woman, was subsequently rushed away in
KEEPING TRACK BY COMPUTER
Dick Bennett, director of development at the Weatherhead
School of Management, told The Associated Press that final exams were
completed last week and that less than 10 percent of the school's
1,600 students were in the building.
It appeared that modern technology may have saved a lot of lives.
Paul Stork, a professor of information systems who was
barricaded in his office with some of his doctoral students, told
WKYC by telephone that building security almost immediately sent a
building-wide broadcast e-mail alerting faculty and staff to collect
students and hide.
The gunman would have been met with five floors of locked
doors, he said.
Although trapped, those in the building were able to
communicate with the outside world by cellular telephone, e-mail and
instant messaging, Stork said. They were able to follow developments
and receive instructions from police by watching local television
coverage on live streaming Web video.
STRIKING LANDMARK BUILDING
The $62 million Peter B. Lewis Building was designed by Frank
Gehry, the internationally renowned architect who also created the
titanium-covered Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Case Western is at University Circle, a parklike setting of
cultural, medical and educational institutions on the eastern edge of
Cleveland. The school has 9,500 students.
The Lewis building is about five stories high. Instead of
walls on the south side, it has a curving roof, made of 20,000
stainless-steel shingles, that seemingly tumbles to the ground.
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Lewis, an art collector and the billionaire chairman of
Progressive Insurance, gave Case $37 million toward construction of
the building, which opened in the fall.