On an average windy Tuesday morning, students in the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Rangel College of Pharmacy go in for class and expect nothing but medicine studies.
This day, however, was different.
A suspicious call was made at 10:30 a.m. to the College of Pharmacy at Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Feb. 2; the college was shut down and evacuated.
“We take all threats seriously at the university. We made all the necessary calls because we do not want anything to harm the students,” said Felipe Garza, University Chief of Police.
University Police Department, Corpus Christi Police Department, and Corpus Christi Bomb Squad were called in after receiving the mysterious call.
“Over 300 students and faculty staff were evacuated from the building,” said Ramey Benfield, Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration.
“The fire alarm went off and we were asked to evacuate. Dr. (Joan Everett-) Houser told us it was not a drill and to leave the building and so everyone was trying to get their stuff together and go,” said Abisola Tairu, a pharmacy major.
As students and faculty watched from the Business Administration building across the street in concern for their belongings left inside and their safety. CC Bomb Squad entered the premises and searched all three floors, including the roof.
“There is a two-stage process. Officers go in first to check individually all classrooms then the staff go in, in sections to check if nothing is out of place,” said Garza.
Teresa Riley, senior vice president for Fiscal and Student Affairs at A&M-Kingsville, sent out an email via JNET stating that the College of Pharmacy would be shut down until 1 p.m. However, the investigation went on until 2:30 p.m..
As for the caller, no information has been released. “We are still trying to back track the caller. There was not much information on the caller but we are working on that,” said Garza.
Traffic cones were picked up shortly after 2:30 p.m. and officers began to leave the location. “The police officers did not find anything suspicious so we are taking the position that there is not anything dangerous in and around the College of Pharmacy,” said Garza.
Students were allowed to retrieve belongings after staff went in to check. Classes were cancelled throughout Tuesday for all classes inside the College of Pharmacy.
Follow Crystal Zamarron on Twitter: @Crystal_Southtx