UPDATED: Cal State Fullerton on Lock Down After Robbery and Chase

The police reportedly chased the armed robbery suspects from Riverside County through freeways in Pomona and Diamond Bar to the campus.

Updated 12:19 a.m. 12/13/12

Cal State Fullerton has tweeted that the campus is all clear and that the lock down has been lifted.

Updated 12:06 a.m. 12/13/12

Police cleared Mihaylo Hall around 10 p.m., allowing approximately 400 students who had been inside to leave the campus, according to Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart, who said the suspect was not located in the building.

Officers were conducting a building-by-building search and would allow more people to leave the campus "as it's safe to do so," Stuart said.    

Ariel Carmona, Jr., a Patch contributor and blogger, said on Facebook that the campus library where he was in lock down has been cleared, as have the other buildings on campus, according to campus police.

Updated 10:59 p.m.

City News Service reported that some students have been allowed to leave one of the locked down buildings.  Ariel Carmona, Jr., a Patch blogger and contributor, said the library on campus where he was studying is still locked down.


Cal State Fullerton was locked down Wednesday while police scoured the university in search of one or more suspects in a robbery and shooting at a jewelry store in the Riverside County city of Moreno Valley that led to a three-county chase.

As SWAT officers marched through the campus -- particularly Mihaylo Hall -- hundreds of students amassed outside in a light rain. Some told reporters at the scene they saw a suspect run frantically toward the building, then walk calmly inside, mixing with the crowd.

The hold-up occurred about 3 p.m. at the Empire Jewelry and Pawn Shop in the 24500 block of Sunnymead Boulevard, just south of the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Witnesses told deputies that five men in ski masks and armed with .22- and .25-caliber handguns forced their way into the shop, robbed it and shot a clerk.

The wounded man was rushed to Riverside County Regional Medical Center and was in critical condition, KCAL9 reported.

Within 15 minutes of the robbery, the California Highway Patrol began pursuing a charcoal-colored two-door Lexus identified as the getaway vehicle, headed westbound on the 60.

The ensuing chase reached speeds of 100 mph going through Ontario and Pomona, according to the CHP. The suspects transitioned from the Moreno Valley Freeway to the southbound Orange (57) Freeway in Diamond Bar and made their way to Fullerton, where the chase ended near the Cal State Fullerton campus.

The chase terminated on Nutwood Avenue near Mihaylo Hall, according to Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart, who said two suspects ran onto the campus toward the campus building, and another ran south away from the campus.

Sgt. Jeff Stuart of the Fullerton Police Department said one suspect was taken into custody, and two fled, one into the building. It was estimated that nearly half the student body was still sheltered in place.

Stuart said one suspect ran into the building and "another guy ran south. We don't know where he is. Two are missing."

Campus Police Chief Dennis Demaio said SWAT teams were working around the campus and pointed out that "they train on this campus." He said many students will be in the classrooms for hours.

The search for suspects was continuing as of 8:50 p.m., the university reported on its Twitter account.

Catherine McCown, a student on the campus told KCAL9, "We saw cops with their guns drawn, we heard people yelling and stuff, and the cops told us to move inside. We saw someone getting handcuffed."

Another student, Tyler Rogers, told KCAL9 "it's finals week and everyone is just out of their mind nervous, not only for this but for finals next week. Now we see all the SWAT here and seven different agencies. No one really knows if he's armed and on campus now."

KCAL9 reported that one mother said her daughter, a commuter student, had been locked in her classroom since 3:45 p.m. and said she was extremely nervous.

Police said two suspects were taken into custody on or near the campus, but as many as two more were still at large. Officers were searching Mihaylo Hall to determine if any of the suspects were inside.

Meanwhile, yet another suspect carjacked a motorist, stealing her compact car. The status of that victim was not immediately known.

That carjacking led to a second chase that spanned more than 20 minutes, traveling west at a hair-raising pace on the Artesia (91) Freeway. The carjacker exited the freeway in Compton. The vehicle in the first pursuit was registered to a Compton resident.

The suspect plowed through multiple intersections, with police, CHP and sheriff's units close behind. The man, clad in a white T-shirt and dark pants, eventually drove into a public housing project parking lot near Alameda Street, bailed out and ran onto a baseball diamond, where he was tackled to the ground and arrested.

Ironically, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck was at the housing project distributing gifts to children as part of a toy drive.   


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