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Man accused of firing weapon, inducing panic at Ohio Christian University

The shooting prompted a brief lockdown on campus. The start time for Circleville City Schools was delayed by two hours.

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — A 24-year-old man is facing charges after he reportedly fired a weapon at Ohio Christian University Wednesday morning, prompting a brief lockdown on campus.

Dispatchers received a call just after 5:50 a.m. of a vehicle that crashed into the Ministry and Performing Arts Center on campus. 

Circleville police officers and Pickaway County deputies arrived at the university before 6 a.m. and found Vale Raburn, of Lancaster, around a firepit on campus with a gun pointed at himself, according to a release. 

Detectives learned that Raburn fired a round from his handgun into the front doors of the performing arts center, reached in through the broken glass to unlock the doors and entered the building. 

Detectives and officers negotiated with Raburn for approximately two hours and arrested him without incident, according to the release. No injuries were reported. 

Raburn's girlfriend, who police said is pregnant with his child, along with the critical incident team, assisted with helping him surrender.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and campus security assisted with the situation. 

Police also credit an unknown passerby who spotted the suspect's car parked on campus and thought it was suspicious and called police, which alerted authorities to the shooting.

Raburn is being held at the Pickaway County Jail and charged with inducing panic, improper handling of a firearm while in a motor vehicle, disruption of public services and vandalism. 

Raburn is expected to appear in Circleville Municipal Court for an arraignment on Thursday.

The sheriff's office said Raburn was not a student. 

UPDATE- We have been informed by the Circleville Police Department that the suspect has been apprehended, the situation...

Posted by Circleville City School District on Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Circleville City Schools announced just before 7 a.m. it was on a two-hour delay. The school district canceled morning preschool and delayed the start time for afternoon preschool by 20 minutes. 

Ohio Christian University was placed on lockdown during the investigation. Wednesday classes were later canceled. 

“The administration, staff, faculty and students of Ohio Christian University are extremely grateful for the experienced and capable leadership and coordination of the Pickaway County Sherriff’s Department, Circleville City Police, State Highway Patrol, Circleville Fire Department, OCU Campus Security, and OCU Chief of Security for their successful response in ending the event peacefully and are particularly thankful to God for his protection and, again, that there was no loss of life.,” the university said in a statement.

The university said if the shooting happened later in the morning, the building where Raburn shot out the door would have been full of students.

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