A Sheffield woman was trapped inside a building during an shooting incident at an American university campus today.
The shooting left two men dead at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and led to a massive response on the campus in a bustling part of LA was a murder-suicide, authorities said.
Abby Hackford, aged 25, from Mosborough, currently working as a neuroscientist at the UCLA campus was understood to have hid herself behind a filing cabinet in the building next door to where the shooting took place.
The building was placed on lockdown and Abby had been texting her concerned parents in Mosborough. She put her phone on silent and was not making any noise so as not to attract any attention.
Concerned dad Gary Dickinson said: “Me and my wife were in bits. Abby texted me to tell me she is very frightened.
“Her husband Josh walked her to the building and then a few minutes later he got home and turned on the TV and saw what was happening.
“As soon as she messaged us, we put the American news channel on. It’s like watching a movie, but our daughter is right in the middle of it.”
Police chief Charlie Beck declared the campus safe about two hours after authorities received an emergency call at about 6.30pm UK time.
The shooting happened in a small office in an engineering building called Boelter Hall, and a gun was found along with what might be a suicide note, he said. No names have been released.
Hundreds of officers from multiple federal and local agencies swarmed the campus, which had been placed on lockdown.
Teams in tactical gear looking for victims and suspects ran across campus, some with weapons drawn, and stormed into buildings.
People emerged from buildings with their hands raised or behind their heads.
The shooting occurred the week before final exams at UCLA, a major campus of the University of California system with about 43,000 students.
Many students posted to social media, many to let friends and family know they were safe.
Some described frantic evacuation scenes and a large police response. Others wrote that their doors were not locking and posted photos of items such as photocopiers pushed up against them.
The focus of police activity was a cluster of engineering buildings near the centre of a campus that occupies 419 acres in Los Angeles.
At a mathematical sciences building near Boelter Hall, Swat officers with guns drawn cleared occupants who emerged one by one.
One man walked out with his hands up and was told to get on his knees. An armed officer searched him and his backpack, then sent him on his way with his hands still in the air.
Bioengineering professor Denise Aberle said she could see “a lot of police activity with innumerable cars” and a police helicopter hovering over the engineering building.
“Police keep coming,” she said.