San Francisco Community College District Police vehicles are parked outside of the Louise & Claude Rosenberg Jr. Library following a gun scare at City College of San Francisco on Tuesday. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

CCSF lacks emergency notification system

A 21-year-old City College of San Francisco student was arrested Wednesday in connection with an armed altercation at the college’s main campus library late Tuesday morning, which prompted an active shooter scare for the school.

Since spring, the college has been without an emergency alert system that can send text messages and other notifications to inform students and staff that their lives are not in danger, according to a college spokesperson.

The Incident

Randy Taylor Jr., a student in one of the CCSF’s transitional programs between high school and college, was arrested in connection with the incident on campus around 11 a.m. Wednesday, CCSF spokesperson Jeff Hamilton said.

“He came in to talk to the director of the program he’s in about the situation and the program director said, ‘We have to go talk to the police,’” Hamilton said.

Taylor was taken to County Jail and booked on suspicion of robbery, assault and kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Around 11 a.m. the day before, Taylor and an accomplice allegedly confronted a 17-year-old CCSF student in a plaza outside the library. “Their intent was to kidnap him and take him off campus,” Hamilton said.

The suspects told the male victim “something to the effect of ‘Come with us … you’re never coming back here,’” said Hamilton.

The 21-year-old accomplice, who police have identified as a former CCSF student but have not released the name of, reportedly lifted his shirt and revealed a gun tucked into his belt, Hamilton said.

The victim ran away from them into the library and yelled “‘He has a gun’” before locking himself in a room, Hamilton said.

A witness said she heard a man shout “I have a gun,” and then about 100 people on the main floor of the library ducked for cover.

CCSF campus police responded within a minute, and city police within three to five minutes, authorities said. The library was evacuated.

That’s when the rumors started about a
gunman on campus.

Rumor control

CCSF posted on Facebook that there was no active shooter on campus at 11:23 a.m., according to its timestamp. Then 15 minutes later, employees were sent an email that said no active shooter was on campus, Hamilton said.

But students weren’t formally notified that a gunman was not on campus until 12:44 p.m., according to the timestamp of the email sent to students.

According to Hamilton, that’s because the email had to be sent out by someone authorized to send messages to students. Only certain individuals are allowed to for legal reasons.

“We have two distribution channels for the campus community, one goes to all employees … and a separate one goes to students,” said Hamilton.

He said if the active shooter situation were real, the school would have sounded the public address system and air sirens. CCSF and city police would have scoured the campus notifying students of any danger.

Within the next week or two, CCSF expects to roll out its new Regroup alert system that can send out text messages, emails and other notifications, Hamilton said. CCSF has already purchased and tested the program.

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