MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of students at Miami Dade College’s Homestead campus were evacuated Tuesday as police searched for a man involved in a domestic incident nearby.
Mid-morning, the school sent out an alert to shelter in place. Homestead police said they were called to the campus because of a domestic argument between a girl and her boyfriend in the east side campus parking lot. Both are students.
The argument reportedly escalated physically before the man took off.
The woman found a campus safety officer and explained what had happened. She told them that while he didn’t brandish a gun during their fight, he was a gun owner.
Students, however, took to social media with rumors they had heard.
“Apparently there was a dispute. A guy got a gun from his car and hit his girlfriend on the head,” said sophomore Ryan Jennings.
“He pistol-whipped his girlfriend and started running,” said sophomore Oscar Rodriguez.
Police say there was no gun involved. Arriving Homestead officers swarmed the campus and began a search.
Chopper4 over the campus spotted buildings being evacuated, the students leaving it in a single file line with their arms and hands held up. Police then entered and conducted a room by room search. The students were directed to nearby City Hall.
“It’s scary seeing this happen to us. You see it happen in other schools and I didn’t think it would happen to us,” said sophomore Yesi Yanez.
“One of my friends is in the building. I am scared for her,” said sophomore Emily Munne. “It’s sad to see. You see this in the news all the time with shootings but you never think this would happen to ourselves. It’s scary.”
Many beleaguered students were forced to leave their classrooms without their backpacks or cell phones, only to wait patiently at City Hall for more than four hours.
“I have kids. I just want to get home and make sure I am safe,” said sophomore Merlune Joseph.
Parents like Martha and Francisco Castillo rushed to the school, worried about their two daughters.
“Very scared. I had to leave work running. I didn’t say goodbye to Erin the right way this morning,” said Martha Castillo. “I was scared that something bad could happen and I would lose her forever. It’s very sad to have to live like this.”
“It’s amazing how anything can happen. This is too much,” said Francisco Castillo. “I am worried about all of the kids here.”
The police wrapped up their search early Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. but were unable to locate the man they had been looking for.