By An Le Nguyen
According to the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS), multiple shots were fired in the Lagunita parking lot at 7:17 p.m. on the evening of Saturday, May 14. The authorities have since detained and questioned possible suspects and reported that no one was injured.
The Stanford police alerted students via email and text a little after 8 p.m., stating that one “outstanding suspect” is a black male, aged 18 to 20, “with a slender build and long dreadlocks.” The suspect may have been armed with a silver handgun.
In a subsequent announcement to the campus, the Stanford police said, “it is unknown if any of the gunshots were directed at an individual.” Witnesses saw an individual firing several gunshots into the parking lot asphalt before fleeing the scene in a vehicle, said to be a white Lexus.
An officer responding to the incident identified and pursued the vehicle in question. During the police chase, the vehicle’s two passengers exited and made a run for the wooded area bordered by Campus Drive, Quarry Road, Palm Drive and El Camino Real. Police later brought two individuals found in that vicinity into custody for questioning.
“The suspects were detained, questioned, then released,” said Stanford police sergeant Chris Cohendet. The authorities are currently trying to locate the firearm, he added.
A second vehicle involved in the incident is described as an older car with two scissor doors and large rims. The car is said to be burnt orange, brown or gold in color. According to Cohendet, that vehicle’s driver is still at large, and the police are still trying to follow up on this lead.
“The driver of the second vehicle was observed waving a handgun, possibly silver in color, out of the open window on the driver’s side of the vehicle as he left the scene on Santa Teresa Street,” read an alert by the Stanford police. “One witness described the driver waving the handgun as a black male wearing a baseball cap with a red brim.”
At present, the investigation is still ongoing, and a motivation for the incident has not yet been determined.
“We’re still actively investigating it,” Cohendet said.
He noted that “there were a couple of events on campus” happening around the time of the shooting, one of which was Blackfest, a concert that took place at Roble Field, across the street from the Lagunita parking lot.
“I don’t know if this was associated with that event, but the shooting happened right after,” Cohendet said.
“It is unclear whether the apprehended suspects have any University affiliation,” said University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin. “At the moment, it appears that they don’t.”
While suspects have been detained and questioned, the investigation is still an open case and more information will be available in the days to come.
“We don’t believe there is any threat or danger to the campus,” Lapin said.
“I think that it is an isolated incident,” Cohendet concurred.
“It is concerning when someone is carrying a firearm on campus,” he said. “But I don’t think the motive of this was to hurt anyone.”