Students and faculty at Mississippi State University are breathing a sigh of relief after a possible shooter sent the Starkville school into a lock down. Officials believe the suspect, Phu-Qui Cong Nguyen may have been suicidal.
Vivian Satterfield is a freshman Psychology student from North Carolina and was in a 10 a.m. class when university officials put the school into lock down.
"We were just taking a quiz and our teacher was like 'I'm just going to lock the door,' very casually, and was like 'Does anyone know where McCool Hall is?" recounts Satterfield. "Somebody said It's a couple of buildings away. So he was like, 'Let's all just go to the back of the classroom,' turned off the lights and we just had to sit there and wait until the Maroon Alert let us all know it was all good."
Less than 20 minutes after the lock down began, officials confirmed that they had arrested Phu-Qui Cong Nguyen, a freshman, computer engineering student from Madison.
According to officials, Nguyen had been considering a career in the Army, and may have contacted a recruiter saying he was suicidal and willing to hurt others. That tip sparked immediate action from campus police.
University President Mark Keenum says campus safety is his number one concern.
"We take any threat like that seriously here on our campus," says Keenum. "The safety of our students, our faculty, our staff, our visitors, anyone on this campus is paramount to us. We respond immediately and our campus did so."
According to school officials, Nguyen did not have a gun when he was arrested. That news has drawn sharp criticism from some who believe the school over-reacted when it issued alerts that an active shooter was on campus.