Called in Threat Locks Down Citrus College And Azusa Pacific University
Photo: Terrell Lee Bennett
GLENDORA – Many locals received text alerts at 11:30 AM on January 15th stating, “AMAdvisoryRoad Closure-NB and SB lanes of Barranca and Citrus and EB and WB lanes of Foothill near Citrus College are closed due to police activity.”
At 11:17 AM, Glendora PD had received a call from a man threatening to “shoot up” Citrus College.
“Someone threatened to shoot up the school,” said Andres Rodriguez, a Glendora Police Cadet. According to the Citrus College Clarion, “Several Glendora police cruisers circled the campus with their lights and sirens on. All campus computers flashed an emergency signal.”
Two minutes after the first text message alert, another text alert advised: “For info regarding Citrus College police activity- Follow on Twitter for up-to-date info.”
The active-shooter’s credible threat prompted an 11:28 AM shutdown of both Citrus College and the surrounding streets. Azusa Pacific University followed suit.
Surrounding law enforcement agencies sprang to action per request. The Foothills Special Enforcement Team – a SWAT Team – was activated. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s helicopters circled the campus for over an hour.
The Clarion reported: “Public Service librarian Sarah Bosler announced the Hayden Memorial Library was closed to anyone entering or leaving at 11:35 a.m. After 10 minutes, students were escorted by library staff to locked rooms. They are still locked inside as of now.”
As investigating officers, detectives and support personnel sought the suspect, the man’s vehicle was located on campus at 11:39 AM. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was alerted of pertinent facts.
Extensive room-to-room campus searches commenced at 12:38 PM.
At 3:44 PM, law-enforcement participants began to feel crowded from above, and sent a notice: “ATTN: News Media Helicopters, please increase your altitude and zoom out, you are compromising Officer positions.”
Glendora PD announced, “Terrell Lee Bennett (30) of Chino, surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without further incident at 3:42 PM. He is an online student at Citrus College who was scheduled for an in-person class today.”
Students in lockdown tweeted to the community at 3:51 PM, to alert everyone of their status:
“When police came to our classroom about an hour ago they said several more hours. They want to clear each classroom one by one which will take some time.”
At 4:04 PM the campus alerted: ” We have one person in custody re the threat to Citrus College. Please be patient as we are continuing our investigation to ensure the safety of students and staff.”
At 5:15 PM, the tense situation continued: “Citrus College is still on lock down, however surrounding streets, including Citrus, Barranca and Foothill are open for traffic.” Glendora PD stated: “The lockdown was lifted at 5:58 PM and all students, faculty, and staff were safely evacuated and released.”
The possible motive, based on Bennet’s statements, appeared to be suicide-by-cop. The ongoing investigation are examining additional motives. The Bomb Squad saw no evidence of explosive devices.
Anyone with additional information regarding Bennett and his actions is encouraged to contact Sgt. Michael Henderson at 626-914-8281 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks from Glendora PD Chief Rosales, “To all of the agencies who assisted us today at Citrus College…over 100 officers assisted in our search today!”