Lockdown ends, two suspects still at large

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Video by Deann Lopez

UPDATE (2:20 p.m.): The Riverside County Sheriff’s department has identified the two suspects who were aprehended near Cal State Fullerton as Davine Lamont Banks, a 30-year-old from Los Angeles and Jerome Renard Allen, a 23-year-old from Los Angeles. The third suspect who was chased on foot and aprehended by officers was identified as Traevon Cortez Viudad, a 24-year-old from Compton.

The remaining two suspects are still at large.

Students were told they could go home at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday after a complete lockdown and evacuation of Cal State Fullerton paralyzed the campus for hours.

Dozens of SWAT members and other officers from seven agencies flooded the campus in search of one of the men suspected of shooting a pawn shop employee during a robbery in Moreno Valley.

Police originally pursued five suspects to Fullerton before they fled on foot after crashing into a student’s car at Nutwood Avenue and Folino Drive at about 3:50 p.m.

Helicopters circled overhead as one suspect was arrested near the on-campus Carl’s Jr. while another was caught outside College Park. The third suspect carjacked a vehicle and led police on a second pursuit that ended in a baseball field in Watts.

Two suspects remained at-large Wednesday night.

The other missing suspect is believed to have fled south of CSUF on foot. Fullerton Police Sgt. Jeff Stuart said most police resources went toward the search for the suspect on campus.

Robert Huskey / Daily Titan

At 11 p.m., Stuart said attention had shifted to getting students off campus.

“Some of these kids have been in the buildings for more than six hours,” said Stuart. “We’re concerned about their needs at this point, so we’re trying to get them out to their cars and off campus.”

Stuart was unsure how long the campus-wide sweep would take, but predicted it would continue well into the night.

“It’s a slow, methodical process when we search rooms,” Stuart said. “That one corner that you miss could be the corner where the suspect might be hiding.”

Riverside County Sheriff’s Cpl. Angel Ramos said the incident began with a shooting during a robbery at a Moreno Valley pawn shop just after 3 p.m.

“Moreno Valley officers responded to a robbery in progress at the 24500 block of Sunnymead Boulevard,” said Ramos. “The preliminary information is that at least one male entered the business, displayed a handgun, shot a victim inside the business and fled the scene.”

Sgt. Lisa McConnell, public information officer for Riverside County, said the wounded individual was in stable but critical condition when he was transported to a local hospital.

Dakota Durrego, 19, undeclared, was working her job as barista at the Steven G. Mihaylo Hall Starbucks when she was told to evacuate the building.

“I was ringing everyone up and making customer orders, then I look up and see someone run through the building,” said Durrego. “It didn’t look serious because it just looked like a student running late to class.”

Durrego described the suspect as having braided hair and wearing a large white T-shirt and jeans. She said she did not understand the gravity of the situation at the time.

“I was not thinking of how severe this could really be,” Durrego said. “He could have easily pulled a gun on someone or taken someone. That’s just scary even thinking about.”

Robert Huskey / Daily Titan

Chelsie Sanchez, 24, an advertising major, said she was finally released from her classroom at around 7 p.m.

“We were watching the news on the projector in our classroom,” said Sanchez. “We went through McCarthy Hall to get out. I thought it was going to be an easy review for finals—it’s been a nightmare.”

Other students were trapped inside classrooms for up to six hours before being released.

Following the “all-clear” announcement of Mihaylo Hall, SWAT teams were sent in to sweep University Hall, Langsdorf Hall and the Education Classroom Building room-by-room in search of the suspect.

Students were contacted about the incident and lockdown through an array of text messages, emails, automated phone calls and loudspeaker announcements from CSUF. The warnings urged students to stay inside secure locations while police searched the campus.

But even with a campus-wide evacuation and lockdown, some students were still unaware of the lockdown instructions.

Witnesses said they heard shots fired at various times, but the reports were not confirmed with police.

Amanda Ward, 26, a philosophy major, said she heard speculation about the suspects and their whereabouts, but was still unsure of the details.

“It’s crazy, I don’t think it’s that big a deal, though … they got people off campus pretty quickly,” said Ward.

CSUF associate Vice President Jeffrey Cook announced a statement from President Mildred García, detailing the concerns of the CSUF administration for the safety of students and faculty. Cook would not discuss evacuation specifics.

“This is a law enforcement issue, not a Cal State Fullerton issue,” said Cook.

Ian Wheeler, Brian Day, Gaby Martinez, Tim Worden, David Hood, Alvan Ung and Justin Enriquez contributed to this report.

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  • E.a.

    Reporting the tactical positions of law enforcement is the last thing you should be doing. There is every possibility that the suspect can access articles, etc., to keep themselves updated on the locations of law enforcement.

  • mario

    I agree with the last comment, tactical information about law enforcement is the last thing you want the suspec (s) to know.
    good luck to all those students and college employees.

  • Steve Scauzillo

    Thanks Daily Titan for keeping us all informed. A great public service.

  • Tom Clanin

    Good reporting

  • bob

    I hope The Habit was able to remain open. I’m hungry.

  • Ernie c

    very very good job from a old time staffer from the 80’s

  • jack

    great photos of suspect!

  • Michal

    Excellent work guys. Proud to be a DT alum.

  • John Gump

    Solid DT coverage and impressive photos! Keep up the good work staffers.

  • Elisabeth

    Nicely done, titans! Great reporting!

    – from a Daily Titan and CSUF Alum, ’08

  • MaryAnne Shults

    Thanks to the great job by the entire Daily Titan staff. I followed your coverage in all the various media. The tweets and photos were awesome. Now you can let the adrenaline levels go back to normal, and think about how you’ll share this day (and a date you won’t forget – 12-12-12 – with your grandchildren! You make me proud to be a DT alum (’11).

  • Marie Loggia-Kee

    Spent about seven hours on lockdown in the library. Was thankful for the Daily Titan updates, and news information. Great job by the staff, and good to see the DT’s photos being picked up with news agencies.

  • JG1972-1991JTusa

    Good pics of all the different agencies; North County SWAT, Anaheim PD SWAT, and a few plain clothes and detectives on scene. Now those agencies can bill CSUF for the 7 hr. callout, (tons of O.T.!) that produced two STILL outstanding suspects! That’s ok, CSUF can just raise their tuition again to pay for all the overtime callout costs to agencies that don’t have a memorandum of understanding for mutual aid to CSUF.

  • Anne La Jeunesse

    Excellent job covering this crime incident — kudos to the DT staff!

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