BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University is has reopened with an increased police presence as the search continues for a man who investigators say, forced this campus and others in lockdown for hours.
At approximately 1:10 p.m. on Thursday - in the middle of final exams - police say a male student was in serious trouble.
FAU Police Chief Charles Lowe said the male suspect entered the Arts & Letters Building with a gun. Lowe said the suspect forced the victim into a secluded room before drawing a weapon.
"He produced a handgun, pointed it at the student's head and proceeded to take several possessions from that student," said Lowe.
Moments later, the suspect took off, according to investigators. Authorities then jumped into action, searching for the suspect and also notifying the rest of campus. In an instant, text messages, emails and even voicemails were sent out to students and staff at FAU and also to those on the nearby Boca Raton campus of Palm Beach State College.
"I got the text message five minutes before my final and my professor, he didn't stop it. He kept it," said FAU Sophomore Brooke Jackson. "Class was calm."
The college campuses, along with several Palm Beach County public schools, were put on lockdown, quieted for hours.
"Went building by building, floor by floor and then scoured all the parking lots," said Lowe.
Vehicles were also searched one by one as they left the campus. Authorities tried to keep students updated until the 'all clear' was given at 3:57 p.m., nearly three hours after this incident began.
"It makes me feel safer knowing that they are letting us know what's going on and aren't leaving us all in the dark," said Jackson.
FAU officials, meanwhile, are working on solutions for some minor disruptions to the final exam schedule.
The suspect remains at large. He is described as a black male, approximately 5'10" with a muscular build. He was said to be dressed in white pants and shirt and a ski mask.
Police are not releasing many details about the victim, not even about what the suspect may have gotten away with.