Alleged gunman shot by police at UC Berkeley dead

A University of California at Berkeley policeman stands guard at the Haas School of Business Tuesday

An undergraduate student shot by campus police after brandishing a loaded gun at the University of California, Berkeley died at a hospital hours after the confrontation, a university spokesman said Wednesday.

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 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.

Shortly before 3 p.m., the university issued a campus alert about the shooting to students, saying “everything was under control.” Another warning at 3:03 p.m. said one suspect was in custody.

“Of course, your concern is the safety of the people on the entire campus, so the first message was to let people know what had occurred,” said Claire Holmes, an associate vice chancellor for public affairs. “It went out as soon as it was possible.”

It was the first shooting since the 1980s on the campus, police said.

Mogulof said Wednesday that the suspect was taken to an Oakland hospital, where he died later Tuesday. Mogulof did not release the man's name.

“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.

Counselors were on hand to work with students traumatized in the wake of the incident, which led to the temporary evacuation of the school and cancellation of classes Tuesday afternoon.

Classes were held as scheduled Wednesday, and school administrators issued a statement directing students where to find their belongings left behind in the crush of the evacuation.

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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