Dec 4 - Armed Suspects at Biola

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Armed Suspects on Biola's Campus

La Mirada is a pretty peaceful area, especially on the campus of Biola. So when something happens on campus, it makes the news. Here are several news stories about an incident on campus December 4.

My Summary: two criminals fled the police onto campus, one got away and the other hid in the cafeteria for several hours. They evacuated several dorms, and made people who were in the library stay there till 4am.

  The following email was sent to the whole Biola community around 4:00am, December 5th.


Last night, shortly after 10pm, two armed suspects fled Sheriff's Deputies onto Biola's campus. The suspects, two Hispanic male's in their early 20's, had committed a car-jacking at gunpoint in the City of La Mirada. The suspects ditched the car on Whiterock (across the creek from Hart) and fled on foot into campus adjacent to Hart Hall. Residents from the community reported this to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's, who were looking for the suspects. Shortly thereafter, the suspects entered Stewart Hall lobby and walked to the second floor and along the exterior balcony. Several students called Campus Safety and reported the suspects as "suspicious persons."

Moments later, Deputy Sheriff Mark Claahsen arrived on campus. Claahsen observed the suspects walking through the patio area immediately adjacent to Postal Services and Common Grounds. The suspects saw Deputy Claahsen and began to flee. Four students observed the suspects "ditch" some items into a trash can. Deputies later recovered a loaded chrome plated .38 revolver and a loaded 9mm Glock handgun. The foot chase continued toward the Cafe, where one suspect fled to the east toward City Hall and the second suspect fled into the Cafe where he subsequently became barricaded. The first suspect got off campus and is not in custody at this writing.

Suspect number two hid himself in the Cafe and refused to obey commands to come out and surrender. The Los Angeles County Sheriff then activated its SWAT team. At this time Campus Safety Officers evacuated Horton, Emerson, the Gym, the SUB, Bardwell, Sutherland, Crowell and closed the Library to further entry. Campus Safety Officers also established a perimeter around the scene to prevent further access. At approximately 0300 the SWAT team entered the Cafe. At approximately 0335 one male suspect, unarmed, Hispanic, 20 years of age, was taken into custody. The building was declared cleared at 0400. At this writing, Sheriff's Deputies are conducting a search of the building to see if the suspect left any weapons or other items behind. The all clear was then given for students to return to their dorms.

Campus Safety wishes to express its thanks to the students, staff, Facilities Services, RD's and the entire campus community for their cooperation during this trying episode. We also wish to acknowledge the prompt and thorough response of the Los Angeles County Sheriff. We are grateful to have such an excellent force serving our community. Finally, I wish to thank and recognize the excellent response of our Campus Safety Officers, who conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and dedication to the safety of our students. The Biola community is privileged to have these men and women of God serving in their midst.

Christopher N. Albers
Deputy Chief
Biola Campus Safety

Can I call them "criminals"?

In general, why is it that everyone refers to people like this as "suspects".  For example, in the description by Campus Safety, it says: "the suspects... had committed a car-jacking at gunpoint". They're not merely suspected of doing something, they did.

I know the official answer: everyone is super careful to avoid libel, so until a criminal conviction in court happens, they remain "suspect" who "allegedly" did something bad.

But to me, they're criminals. So sue me.

  Several Local News Stories    

KNBC's web site

Carjacking Suspect Holes Up Inside College Cafeteria

LA MIRADA, Calif., 8:33 a.m. PST December 5, 2002 - A man suspected of carjacking who was holed up in the cafeteria of a private Christian university was arrested early Thursday after a five-hour standoff, authorities said.

Edward Hixon, 20, of La Habra was found shortly after 3:15 a.m., hiding in the attic above the cafeteria at Biola University, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Varela.

Hixon was unarmed and arrested without incident. He was booked for investigation of carjacking and held on $100,000 bail.

About 500 students in nearby dorms were evacuated and sent to other campus buildings, school officials said. About 100 students who were studying in the library were forced to stay there until 2 a.m.

"We had to evacuate about eight buildings on our campus, two residence halls. We were able to take (students) to another residence hall to secure them there ... Other locations, such as the student union building, were evacuated," university spokeswoman Irene Neller said.

Authorities said Hixon and another man carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint about 10 p.m. Wednesday near the school. Sheriff's deputies chased the vehicle until the men got out and fled on foot through the campus. The 19-year-old carjacking victim was not injured.

Hixon ran into the cafeteria but the other man fled and has not been found.

Biola is an accredited private university founded in 1908. The university offers 145 academic programs that it says are based on evangelical Christianity.

Christian College Invaded By Swat Team

Larry Wheeler
KTLA-TV Newswriter

December 5, 2002, 7:03 AM PST

LA MIRADA -- An armed standoff on a college campus has ended with the arrest of one suspect.

It came to an end about 3:15 a.m. (PST) Thursday at Biola University in La Mirada. Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies said two carjacking suspects stole a car about 10:00 p.m. Wednesday. The car and the suspects were found a short time later near the campus. The men were chased to the school, where one of them ran into the cafeteria. He finally gave up after several hours of negotiations.

SWAT officers found him hiding in a hole in the ceiling in the cafeteria. He was later arrested.

The other man remained at large.
Copyright 2002, KTLA
  Orange County Register

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Police arrest La Habra man after standoff
Authorities say suspect carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint

Web Site Link to Story

The Orange County Register

A 20-year old carjacking suspect from La Habra was arrested early Thursday after a five hour standoff at Biola University that caused the evacuation of several hundred students from their dorms, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.

Edward Hixon, 20, of La Habra was found hiding in the attic above the cafeteria on the La Mirada campus of the Christian university. Two handguns were found at the scene, said Deputy Ramiro Juarez.

The incident began at about 10:15 p.m. with a two men carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint near the school. The 19-year old victim was not injured. Deputies chased the car until the two men fled on foot into the campus. Hixon ran into the cafeteria and the other man is still at large.

Juarez said that the standoff required several hundred students to be evacuated from nearby dormitories until it ended at about 3:20 a.m.


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