NSW university, high school and childcare centre in lockdown after threatening phone call

Olivia Lambert
News Editor

A university, high school and childcare centre were in lockdown after Southern Cross University received a threatening phone call.

Police were called to the university in Lismore, in northeastern NSW, after initial reports of a gunman on campus.

The university posted on Facebook the campus was under emergency lockdown.

“Police are currently on-site and all students and staff are advised to remain inside until given the all-clear,” it said.

“Anyone planning to visit the campus at present should postpone.”

A NSW Police spokesman told Yahoo New Australia there was no active shooter on campus despite reports on social media.

One student posted a video to Instagram with the caption: “Holy f*** there’s a shooter at uni.”

In the background of the video an emergency voiceover is heard saying, “Remain inside until further instructions.”

The student posted another update saying there were reports of two shooters.

Police are on scene at Southern Cross University after threats of a gunman on campus. Source: Facebook/North Coast Crime

A woman at a daycare centre next to Southern Cross University told 2GB radio she heard a bang.

“We did hear about 40 minutes ago a big bang. We don’t know whether it was a gun or what it was,” she said.

Student Rhys Harrison told local newspaper The Northern Star he heard reports of at least one gunman on the university campus.

“The stress level seems pretty high but no one is panicking,” he said.

A woman commented on the newspaper’s Facebook page saying she saw five police officers with machine guns moving towards the university’s library.

“Freaky,” she said.

Rivers Secondary College near the university was also in lockdown.

“The school is currently in lockdown due to an unfolding matter at the university. Students are safe and the school will remain in lockdown until advised by police,” a Facebook post said.

Southern Cross University and a nearby school and childcare centre are in lockdown. Source: Facebook/North Coast Crime

“Please do not attempt to collect your child. We will update you when possible.”

It is understood childcare centre Blinkys was too in lockdown.

‘There’s no credible threat’

Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Humphrey told reporters portions of the university deemed at risk were being cleared.

He did not go into the specifics of the threatening phone call but said it went for some time and a police negotiator conversed with the caller.

“There’s no credible threat at this stage,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.

“People should be very comfortable that we responded quickly and that there was no threat.

Mr Humphrey would not go into details about how many officers were on site, saying the police response was “commensurate with the risk” involved.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Wayne Humphrey told reporters police attended the scene after the university received a threatening phone call. Source: Facebook/NSW Police

The lock down is currently being lifted as police clear parts of the university confirmed as being safe.

“People are obviously going to be concerned that large numbers of police are flooding in to a public place … experience shows that if there was an actual incident, that information (posted on social media) is essential because we’re monitoring that a lot.

“I don’t think it’s unhelpful … Our response is a lot around that social media.”

He said about 200 people were locked down in a certain area of the university as the operation was underway.

Police said there were no reports of injury or shots fired.

The lockdown follows two high schools and a TAFE on the NSW South Coast being evacuated on Monday September 16.

A high school in Wollongong received an email on Monday morning, which resulted in a police operation.

Students from Wollongong High School of Performing Arts and Keira High School were evacuated along with students from Wollongong TAFE.

According to the Illawarra Mercury, the email was regarding a bomb threat.

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