SACRAMENTO, Calif. » Police hunted for a gunman Thursday night who opened fire at a Sacramento college parking lot, killing one man and wounding two others, officials said.
One victim was declared dead at the scene, another was taken to a hospital with injuries, and the third was only grazed by a bullet and was questioned by investigators, said Dustin Poore of Los Rios police, who patrol Sacramento City College.
The shooting at about 4 p.m. near a baseball field at the edge of campus began as a verbal dispute among a group of men, one of whom pulled out a gun and fired, Poore said.
Two of the victims were students at the school, but it wasn’t immediately clear which two.
Sacramento City College spokesman Rick Brewer told the Sacramento Bee earlier that that all three victims were students. But he said later that further investigation showed that just two of them were confirmed to have been registered.
It also was unclear whether the gunman has any ties to the school, and police have not given a motive, though Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Traci Trapani told the Bee that the shooting was an “isolated incident” rather than an instance of the gunman seeking to shoot at students.
The suspect, wearing a white T-shirt and cargo shorts, ran from the scene and remained at large hours later.
The campus was locked down for about two hours before police officers had cleared all the buildings and allowed students and staff to leave, said Sacramento police Sgt. Doug Morse.
Evening classes were canceled.
Police descended from all directions on campus shortly after the gunfire broke out, and students told to stay in their classrooms and lock the door were filled with fear.
“My stomach dropped,” student Lars Beesom told KCRA-TV. “It was definitely really, really scary, but we all stayed calm.
Beesom added, “It’s school. It’s supposed to be a good environment, and you don’t want to be scared here.”
Jackie Flores, 50, who lives across the street from the parking lot, said she heard four or five shots fired. “It all happened so fast,” she told the Sacramento Bee.
Classes were in session at the two-year college in central Sacramento with a student body of about 25,000. The fall semester began Aug. 22.
The corner of campus where the shooting occurred is surrounded by strip malls with chain restaurants on one side and a golf course on the other.