Witnesses describe shootings, panic on Santa Monica campus

Beth Fouhy
The Lookout
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SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- When shots rang out outside the library at Santa Monica College on Friday, 19-year-old student Brett Holzhauer said he recognized the sound immediately.

"I’m a huge gun advocate, I’ve been around guns all my life, I knew exactly what was happening," Holzhauer said. "I ran to my stuff packed it up as fast as I could and dove into a study room."

Holzhauer and other students described a chaotic scene after a gunman opened fire on the southern California campus. At least one person died and five others remain hospitalized -- one in critical condition.

Holzhauer said he stayed hidden in the study room for 35 minutes until police arrived and evacuated the building.

"I saw hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the lobby of the library," Holzhauer said. "I saw shattered glass, I saw blood all down the stairs of the main entrance to the lobby and as I was walking out I saw a dead body."

Student Sean Cowley was in the library when he said the alleged shooter walked in. Cowley said the man was wearing all black with sunglasses. He said he heard a couple shots come from outside the library.

"I saw a guy walking with a rifle at his side," Cowley said. "Someone had already shouted there's a guy with a gun, so I started running."

College officials said the school would remain locked down for duration of day.

Final exams were going on this week. Afternoon classes were cancelled.

Students who had cars on campus or left belongings in the library were told to contact the college on Saturday.