Police respond to reports of gunfire at Washington college

(Reuters) - A college near Seattle locked down its campus on Friday morning as police responded to unconfirmed reports of gunfire, according to the college and police.

There were no confirmed injuries, and police did not rule out the possibility of a false alarm.

"This is not a drill," Highline College in Des Moines, Washington state, said on its Facebook page, urging people to barricade doors and windows. The school has about 17,000 students, according to its website.

The alarming warning came just days after a gunman entered a school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring others in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

The Renton Police Department said in a post on Twitter that it and other law enforcement agencies were sending officers to Highline College after reports of gunshots.

"At this time, we haven't located any suspects or any injured people that I'm aware of," Kent Police Commander Jarod Kasner said in a phone interview.

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Social media reactions to the reports of shooting at Highline College
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Social media reactions to the reports of shooting at Highline College
My girl is at highline wne not answering what should I do https://t.co/V7HJYbq7VV
Heard 6-8 gunshots waking to class at Highline & now we’re in lockdown. Tf goin on 😐
y’all play stay safe @ highline https://t.co/vTizuUH84u
Snap Map shows video of people who look like they're barricading inside room at Highline Community College: "Shooti… https://t.co/LCX1ptB2J3
Barricaded in class at highline college Des Moines https://t.co/Xe7Vif5pAg
@yourboyeddie Evacuating buildings now. Looks like we'll be going home early, haven't seen or heard any gunfire.… https://t.co/0ob8k6j1iQ
there’s a potential active gunman at a college near my highschool. my friend who goes there is texting me and said… https://t.co/TsRocxwDyk
IFI I DIE IN THIS SHOOTING POLITCIZE MY FUCKING DEATH IM SAYING IT NOW I WANT FUCKING GUN CONTROL #highlinecollege… https://t.co/DF85LiqEcZ
BREAKING: ATF agents are responding to reports of a school shooting at Highline College in Des Moines, Wash. https://t.co/iSxiauS22H
Right now I’m watching roughly 60 law enforcement officials heading toward Highline College campus buildings with g… https://t.co/Ep19ZWhd69
Based on what we're seeing on the ground at Highline College, law enforcement appears more relaxed than I've scene… https://t.co/BWAMy0QNHi
Inside a room baracated me and 12 others in we are ok heard 5 gun shots near me when we where going to other classe… https://t.co/QzfNGUfI7W
Officials say no evidence of a shooting or gunshot victims found at Highline College. Great news to hear.
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South King Fire & Rescue department said it had ambulances at the school. It said on Twitter there were no known victims.

The college said police were evacuating buildings. People inside the college posted anxious messages and videos on social media about impromptu barricades, pushing chairs and tables against doors and waiting in darkness.

"I'm still in my classroom at Highline College with some students, waiting for police to evacuate us," Stevi Costa, a teacher of English literature, wrote on Twitter. "This is a literal nightmare."

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen and Peter Szekely in New York, Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Bill Trott and Bernadette Baum)

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