The campus of the Vives University of Applied Sciences in Kortrijk was placed in full lockdown on Thursday morning after a report was received to the police about a -possibly- armed man.
That‘s what the police spokesman confirms. The order services are massively on the scene and police have the identity of the suspect. However, he hasn’t been found yet.
The campus was completely shut down immediately after the notification. All students present – about 3,000 according to managing director Joris Hindryckx – were escorted block per block outside the safety perimeter and the last building was cleared around 12.30 p.m. “In the meantime, special units are searching all buildings,” the police report. “But it‘s about a thorough sweeping that takes a while. It’s also a very big campus. However, no suspect has been found for the time being.”
The police stress that there was a report of “a person with an object similar to a firearm, but that there was never a concrete threat to the weapon.”
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The report came in to the police around 8.45 a.m. The officers had been called by a bus passenger who had seen another passenger — who seemed to have a firearm along — got off the bus at the college level and walked towards campus. “At that time we deployed all resources,” the prosecutor‘s office reports. “We also know the suspect’s identity and do everything we can to find him. However, we don‘t release his identity.”
Footage is circulating online of an armed man entering one of the college’s buildings. That‘s not the suspect, but one of the officers, the police confirm.
In the meantime, the college reports that all classes on campus will be suspended on Thursday. “The police are scouring the campus and it could take a while. Call your family to say you’re okay. Everyone is free to go home after the evacuation. Is your car in the car park? Please be patient.”