Florida Atlantic University authorities issued a campus-wide lockdown yesterday, Nov. 29, after a gunpoint robbery of a student in the Arts and Letters building 9. The man, who is not in police custody yet, allegedly held a gun to an FAU student’s head around 1:10pm. After taking some of the student’s possessions, he fled on foot.
The suspect is a black male, approximately 5-10, with a muscular build, dressed in white pants and white shirt and wearing a ski mask.
FAU police conducted searches of vehicles traveling near the campus and asked drivers and passengers questions.
The lockdown that lasted about three hours was lifted after a thorough search of buildings and parking lots.
FAU Police Chief Charles Lowe said that police got a call around 1 p.m. from a male student who said he’d been approached in an empty hallway of the Arts and Letters building by a man who held a small gun to his head, forced him into a practice room, and robbed him of belongings.
"We still have an ongoing investigation,” Lowe said, “[but] we have a number of leads.”
Commercial music technology student, Phillip Harris may have caught a glimpse of the suspect. He was practicing for his piano jury when he noticed a person peeking into the room through the small window on the door.
“I was in the process of switching rooms to go to a better piano and as I came out I saw a black male that I haven’t seen before looking into the other rooms on the floor,” said Harris. “When I finished rehearsing I didn’t see anyone in the hallway, but when I got down to the second floors a friend of mine got a call that someone had just been robbed in one of the rooms that I just left.”
Sophomore and speech major, Amanda Antonacci, was taking an online test in the school library when the lockdown was issued.
“I got the alert text that there was an intruder and I was like oh wow that's actually pretty serious, and I watched everyone look at their phones and start freaking out,” Antonacci said. “Everyone was making jokes and what not, it got annoying after a while. Then when they said we were on lockdown is when you could tell everyone started taking it seriously and seemed scared.”
Another student that was held in the library for three hours was international business major, Caley Wensyel who was studying when she received the text alerts. She recalls several students who did not abide to the lockdown.
“Some people were leaving and they made an announcement that the lock down was not over and they were leaving at their own risk” said Wensyel.