Alleged gunman shot by police at UC Berkeley dead

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - November 16, 2011

Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, 32, had just started his first semester at Berkeley after transferring from another school, and had been attending classes at the prestigious Haas School of Business, spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

University officials said a staff member first saw the man carrying what appeared to be a gun in an elevator at the business school after 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The staff member called police at 2:17 p.m., saying she saw the man remove the gun from a backpack.

Police officers tracked the suspect into a Haas computer lab. The suspect raised the loaded gun and was shot by an officer at about 2:22 p.m., roughly five minutes after the initial call, according to the school.

At the time, four students were between the officer and the suspect, UC Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said Tuesday. None of the students was hurt, and Mogulof said there was no evidence to suggest Travis had any intentions to harm others.

Bill Travis, the suspect's father, sobbed during a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press from his home in Lodi, Calif. He said he learned his son had been shot Tuesday night, and didn't wish to make any further comment.

As Twitter lit up with concerns and rumors about what had happened following the shooting Tuesday afternoon, news helicopters arrived on the scene and began buzzing overhead.

At 2:53 p.m., campus authorities sent out the first alert to the Berkeley community, saying there had been a shooting at Haas Business School and that police on the scene had the situation under control but that the area should be avoided, said Claire Holmes, an associate vice chancellor for public affairs. Another warning went out at 2:59 p.m. saying the only suspect was in custody.

A third alert went out nearly an hour later, said there was no longer a threat and that campus activities had returned to normal. The official UC Berkeley Twitter account later posted a link to an official university statement describing the incident and saying that Haas had been reopened.

When asked whether the school's emergency alert system was effective given the reporting delay, Holmes said she felt the school had done an admirable job.

"I think that given the situation, you're balancing the urgency to get something out with the knowledge that you currently have, and not creating a situation where people are overly concerned and doing things they shouldn't be doing," she said. "It went out as soon as it was possible."

It was the first on-campus shooting since 1992. In that earlier incident, an Oakland police officer fatally shot a machete-wielding activist from nearby People's Park who had broken into the former chancellor's mansion on the north side of campus.

Mogulof said Wednesday that the suspect was taken to an Oakland hospital, where he died later Tuesday.

"It's a very fast moving investigation," he said. "There were an enormous of witnesses who police had to interview so that's why it's taken this long to get the information out."

Staff, students and administrators gathered at the business school Wednesday morning for a meeting about the shooting. Grief counselors were on hand and classes were held as scheduled Wednesday.

School administrators issued a statement directing students where to find their belongings left behind Tuesday afternoon after the temporary evacuation of the school and cancellation of classes.

The shooting occurred as anti-Wall Street activists were preparing another attempt to establish an Occupy Cal camp after a failed effort last week led to dozens of arrests.

ReFund California, a coalition of student groups and university employee unions, called for a campus strike, and protesters planned a rally and march to protest banks and budget cuts to higher education.

More than 1,000 students, campus employees, faculty and other demonstrators filled an outdoor plaza Tuesday after many took part in morning teach-ins.

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