Relatives wait for word on loved ones in building

By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) - People clutching cell phones paced streets at Case Western Reserve University's campus Friday, hoping to hear from friends and loved ones inside a building where at least one person had been killed in a shooting by a lone gunman.
Seven hours after the first shots were fired, police took a man into custody.
The street outside the Peter B. Lewis building was lined with more than a dozen police cars, two fire trucks and also SWAT vehicles and television cameras hours after the gunman walked into the business school.
Two dozen SWAT officers, holdings shields and wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, entered the building about three hours after the shootings began. At one point, a police helicopter circled above the distinctively designed building, shining a searchlight onto a metal roof that reflected the light back into the sky.
During the standoff, the building was slowly emptied of the estimated 70 students and faculty who had locked themselves in rooms and hidden under desks. As people were rescued, they were taken to a campus auditorium, where relatives were waiting. Names were announced in the auditorium as the people were taken from the business school.
Nancy Hull stood in the middle of the street crying after hearing her niece, Amanda Nicol, was safe.
"She's OK, thank you so much. Amanda is OK, this is her mother on the phone," Hull told reporters.
Earlier in the evening, Bill Chorman, 50, waited with his 12-year-old son to learn his wife's whereabouts.
"I feel she's locked in an office waiting for rescue," said his son, Christopher.
Earlier, Jennifer Davis said her husband, Lamont, 29, called her at 5:22 p.m. to let her know he was inside the building, hiding inside a room. He urged his wife to tell police not to enter the building.
"He was just talking really slow and really calm. He was whispering. We talked for about 18 seconds," Davis said, holding onto her cell phone while standing a block from the building. She said her husband works in the career and student life office.
"I just need to see him. I'll be OK when I see him," said Davis, 28.
Eli Grant, 20, held his head in his hands, distraught over the news. He had called off for work at the Peter B. Lewis Building after working a long shift on Thursday.
"It's kind of like the same way I felt on Sept. 11," said Grant, a native New Yorker who works in the dean's office at the Weatherhead School of Management. "I know a lot of people in there really well."
Zach Nicole, 17, asked several people about the whereabouts of his sister, who he said works in the alumni affairs office.
"I found out my sister was here, so I came down as quick as I could," said Nicole, who lives in suburban South Euclid.
Graduate student Murat Tasan said he saw police running toward the building while jogging by about 4 p.m. He said he heard what sounded like machine gun fire shortly later.
Three hours later, Tasan was still on the scene. He said police had carried blueprints toward the building, which has a distinct design both inside and out.
The $62 million Peter B. Lewis Building opened in the fall and was designed by Frank Gehry, the renowned architect who also created the titanium-covered Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Instead of walls on the south side of the five-story building, it has a curving roof made of 20,000 stainless-steel shingles that seemingly tumbles to the ground. The building's hallways dip and swerve.
"The inside of that building, it's insane. It's like a maze," Tasan said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)