Students at Washington State University in Pullman were told to shelter in place after a man barricaded himself in an apartment which was then reportedly set on fire.
On Thursday morning, WSU’s alert account on Twitter told students to shelter in place as a SWAT team “is actively working on the south side of campus”.
Local news outlets KHQ reported that shots had been fired between police and a man barricaded inside an apartment since last night.
Police reportedly did not believe there was a threat to students but the university issued the shelter in place order to stop students looking out of the windows.
At around 3.50am local time (11.50am GMT), KHQ reported that a fire had been started inside of the apartment.
At 4.48am (12.48pm GMT) KOMO news anchor Steve McCarron reported that police said they had shot the man.
“Pullman police tell us police shot the man and ‘he is down’. That’s all the information they have right now,” he said in a Tweet.
Pullman, Washington, is just across the state line from Moscow, Idaho, where four university students were killed in their off campus housing last month.
Police have yet to identify suspects or make arrests in that case which shocked the small university town.
Authorities are expanding the crime scene, likely in an attempt to find “potential evidence”, according to Washington State University Police Chief Gary Jenkins.
He told Fox News’s The Story, that Moscow Police have received a “significant response” from the FBI and state authorities.
“All the information we’re getting from Moscow Police Department is that it is not a random attack, that it was a targeted attack,” he said.
Jenkins added: “Typically, the types of things that would lead you to to come to that conclusion are the types of details at a crime scene that they don’t want to release right now to the public, so that they do not jeopardize their or the integrity of their investigation and a potential prosecution.”
When asked if there may be a connection between the Idaho case and a dog which was reportedly kidnapped from its yard and skinned in the Moscow area, he said he didn’t want to speculate.
However, he added: “I do know that Moscow Police Department is looking into the potential of a connection there. I know that they’re leaving no stone unturned in this case, but I know that that case did come to their attention and that they were following up on that.”
Police have confirmed that the four students were likely murdered in their off campus home between 3am and 4am on the morning of Sunday, November 13 after a night out.
“The coroner stated that the four victims were likely asleep, some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There was no sign of sexual assault,” the Moscow Police Department said in a press release last week.
Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were identified as the victims. The four students were close friends and roommates.