CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) — Officials with California University of Pennsylvania say a student is in police custody following an armed robbery this morning in a residence hall.
It was right around 11 a.m. when police say Khari Hicks walked into Residence Hall B, and held a student up.
“The second witness heard the knock at the door, let him in because it’s a college town, thought that he was a friend of another roommate that lived in another suite,” said Chief Ed McSheffrey, of campus police. “Told him that he needed to get something and he went into one of the suites and that’s where the robbery took place.”
University police say Hicks was holding what appeared to be a handgun when he took off with the victim’s $300 in cash.
“The dorm’s the last place that you would expect something like that to go down,” said Courtland Forse, a student. “The fact that he brought a weapon into the dorms is kind of scary for us all.”
Authorities now say that gun was actually a black, plastic toy gun. But the fear for the victim and those on campus was very real.
“What I can say is just lock your doors because you can’t trust anybody, and sometimes you get people like that,” said Vicky Martin, a student.
The university was placed on lock down while police combed the campus for the suspect.
Students received emails and text messages telling them not to leave where they were, and less than an hour later, Hicks was caught.
“We were walking past one of the residence halls, Johnson Hall, and there was a suspect in custody with his hands handcuffed behind his back, pushed up against a wall by an officer,” said Ben Sedelmeier, a student.
University officials say Hicks, who is a student, not only faces trouble with the law, he’s now barred from campus and will undergo a university disciplinary process.