A 21-year-old man was arrested this Wednesday afternoon on the campus of the University of the Basque Country in Leioa (Bizkaia) for firing numerous shots at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology and also against the bus that connects the area with Bilbao. In the assault, which occurred minutes after seven o’clock in the afternoon, there were no injuries, as confirmed by the Ertzaintza, although there were material damages in the assaulted building, which the arrested had entered armed with a double-barreled shotgun and cartridges .
The Basque police have directed and deployed the Mobile Brigade, the Explosives Unit, the Surveillance and Rescue Unit, Protection patrols and the Intervention Unit. A medical ambulance has also been transferred. In a message on Twitter, the Ertzaintza has sent a message of tranquility to the affected people and their families, and after eight in the afternoon it has verified that the risk situation has disappeared.
The identity of the young man has not transcended, although the dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Fernando Plazaola, has indicated that he is a student of the UPV, although he has not specified if he is studying specifically in the assaulted faculty. “When we found out his name, we have reviewed his file and it is brilliant,” the dean told reporters.
Access to the campus has been closed after the assault and all buses that were destined for the area have been redirected to a nearby esplanade. The shots have broken several windows on the façade of the Faculty of Sciences and, inside, partitions, classroom doors, a television monitor and a display case with fossils.
Upon entering the building of the Faculty of Sciences, the young man spoke with one of the cleaners who was working in the building at that time, Marian. The woman has narrated that the young man entered with the gun with the barrel up and that he has addressed her, saying: “I do not want to harm anyone, only the UPV.”
Another cleaning worker, Idoia, says, still very impressed: “I heard the shots, I was in my hallway.” The woman was in a laboratory when she heard the roar of the shots and went out into the hall, where a teacher wondered what was happening. Without knowing exactly what was happening but sensing that it was a shooting, the woman has returned to the interior of the laboratory, where she has hidden the cart of cleaning products “so that she would not see that there were people”, but at the time of taking the key has run into the individual. “He went with a shotgun and walked apparently calm,” said the worker. She and her partner are currently at the doors of the building.
An economics student, Gorka Gómez, 19, was attending class in the attacked building when the shooting began. He assures that when they heard the noise of the shots, neither he nor his colleagues identified them as such. They have learned of the event when a teacher has entered their classroom to warn them that an individual was shooting inside the building and has told them that they were going to remain locked in the room. “We have been locked up for about half an hour, all of us quite scared,” says the young man. After that time, the Ertzaintza has evicted them.
The event has led to the eviction of the entire campus. At the Faculty of Communication, located very close to the attacked building, three Public Relations and Advertising students, Odei, Jon and Julia, 19, have been evacuated from their classroom in an environment that they have described as “a lot of uncertainty”.
✔ The @Gob_eus wishes to send a message of tranquility to the affected people and their families in the face of the eviction from the EHU-UPV campus in #Leioa by the presence of a person armed with a shotgun.
📌 The alleged perpetrator has already been detained without finding any injured persons. pic.twitter.com/UB29eAwnpb
– Ertzaintza (@ertzaintzaEJGV) October 13, 2021