A man took his own life Wednesday after shooting a woman multiple times in a hallway at North Lake Community College in Irving, sending the school into a lock down for more than an hour while police searched the campus for an active shooter.
An active shooter, with confirmed shots fired, was reported on North Lake College’s Irving campus at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. Just over an hour later, police confirmed the bodies of two people had been found in what investigators suspect is a murder-suicide.
Lauretta Hill, Dallas County Community College District Police Department Commissioner, said Wednesday afternoon that the body of the victim and the body of the suspected shooter were found in different buildings.
Just before 1 p.m., Irving police said they were no longer looking for a suspect at the college and that there appears to be no continuing threat to students or faculty.
Further details about the victim and shooter have not been confirmed.
Irving police said they will continue to search the campus as the investigation unfolds. North Lake students are exiting the campus as each building is cleared.
School officials said all North Lake College campuses will be closed for the remainder of the day Wednesday as well as Thursday. Irving police asked that people stay away from the Irving campus while the investigation continues.
North Lake College police confirmed shots were fired at North Lake’s Irving campus, at 5001 North MacArthur Boulevard, at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday.
Nasrin Nanbakhsh, a tutor at North Lake College in the math learning center, said she left her room in Building C when she saw a man shoot a woman.
“I saw a guy standing and there was a girl sitting on the chair. It happened too quickly. I saw him shooting her three times,” said Nanbakhsh. “We’ve been trained how to handle these types of situations. I immediately ran back to the room I’m working, locked the doors and asked all the students to go back to the back room and to turn off the lights and be quiet.”
Nanbakhsh said she didn’t know if the woman was a student or faculty or if the man and woman had been talking before the shooting.
Dani, a student at the school, told NBC 5 over the telephone that she had just arrived at the school and was walking down the stairs near the art gallery when she heard three loud pops.
“It sounded just like gunshots,” Dani said. “We heard the first one and thought somebody dropped something … but then it just kept going and everybody just started running.”
“The only thing that went through my mind was just to run,” Dani said.
Ro Olvera was barricaded in a classroom not far from the shooting and said her instructor said if anyone came through the door they would have to fight.
“My instructor, the whole time, was like, ‘If he comes in, he’ll have to get through me first. But if it comes to that, grab a chair, throw at him, do anything you can – fight. So I did feel safe with our instructor,” Olvera recalled.
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Dennis Holmes, who is part of the faculty at the college and a freelance photographer with NBC 5, was on campus when the active shooter was reported. Holmes told NBC 5 by telephone he was locked down in a professor’s office and was told by school officials to barricade the doors.
Despite the lockdown, a large number of students were seen frantically running from multiple buildings on the campus toward parking lots.
DART stopped Orange Line service at the North Lake College Station during the incident and in the first hour or so after. At 2 p.m., DART resumed service to the North Lake College Station. Two nearby Irving ISD schools, MacArthur High School and Singley Academy, were placed on lockout during the incident. That restriction has since been lifted.
Gun owners with a valid LTC, licensed to carry, permit were permitted to carry weapons on the campuses of four-year colleges and universities in Texas effective Aug. 1 2016. The law goes into effect for all community colleges, of which the Dallas County Community College District and North Lake College are a part, on Aug. 1, 2017.
The law does not allow open carry, where the weapon is visible, or allow for the carrying of rifles and shotguns on campus.