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Cal State Fullerton Reopens After Search for Suspects

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Photo Courtesy: The Daily Titan

FULLERTON, Calif. (KTLA) — Classes resumed Thursday at Cal State Fullerton, after a roughly eight-hour lockdown as police searched for two possibly armed robbery suspects.

The lockdown ended just before midnight on Wednesday as students were allowed to return home, authorities said.

The two suspects who fled after a high-speed chase remained at large, however, and a contingent of police officers will remain on campus.

On Wednesday evening, police set up a perimeter around Mihaylo Hall, where students reported seeing at least one suspect moving through the halls.

SWAT team members conducted a systematic room-to-room search. By 11 p.m. they had cleared the building and released all the students, but they did not find either suspect.

The chain of events began around 3 p.m. Wednesday with an armed robbery involving five suspects at Empire Jewelry and Pawn Shop in Moreno Valley.

Police said that a clerk at the store was shot multiple times during the robbery.

The victim, a man in his 20s, was taken to a hosptial where he underwent emergency surgery. He was listed in stable, but critical condition, authorities said.

The suspects fled the scene in a Lexus and led police on a wild car chase that spanned four counties. They ultimately exited the 57 Freeway at Nutwood Ave. and stopped near Cal State Fullerton.

Two of the men were captured almost immediately and two others ran away.

The remaining suspect managed to carjack a second vehicle and led police on yet another pursuit through Orange County and into Watts.

He drove at speeds close to 100 mph before bailing out of the car. The suspect was arrested after a foot pursuit through a crowded park next to the Imperial Courts Recreation Center on 114th St.

All classes at Cal State Fullerton were canceled Wednesday evening, and several nearby streets are shut down, including a stretch of the 57 Freeway.

One student who spoke to KTLA said she was stuck in her dorm for about seven hours.

“I was supposed to have class while it was happening, but we received a lot of messages and phone calls to remain sheltered and not leave where we were,” Chantelle Ly said.

Troy High School, which is across the street from CSUF, was also placed on lockdown as a precaution during the suspect search.

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