Standoff underway with gunman at Panera Bread near Princeton University

By Lucia I. Suarez Sang| Fox News

Police in Princeton, N.J. responded to reports of an armed man at Panera Bread, near Princeton University.  (Google Maps)

A standoff outside a Panera Bread near Princeton University stretched into Tuesday afternoon as police continued to negotiate with an armed man inside the chain eatery.

Police said just after 2 p.m. that the situation remained contained inside the eatery as they continued to ask residents to stay away from the area near the Ivy League university campus.

Princeton, NJ Police@PrincetonPolice

Panera Bread situation remains unchanged. from Princeton NJ Police Department : Nixle https://local.nixle.com/alert/6469141/ 

1:09 PM - Mar 20, 2018

Panera Bread situation remains unchanged. from Princeton NJ Police Department : Nixle

A standoff with an armed man at the Panera Bread in Princeton is continuing at this time. The situation is contained within the store. The immediate area of the store has been evacuated and police ...

local.nixle.com

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Princeton police said the unidentified man armed with a gun reportedly entered the Panera Bread on Nassau Street around 10:30 a.m., issuing threats inside. Employees and customers fled as police swarmed the location.

It was not immediately clear if gunshots were fired inside or if there were any hostages.

Police Chief Nick Sutter told Planet Princeton that authorities were trying to negotiate with the gunman. The man could be heard on the police scanner saying “no one is coming through those doors.”

Sutter said police did not know if anyone else was still inside the building. He said the situation was contained.

Armed officers were staged outside the restaurant with their weapons drawn while negotiations continued.

The local newspaper reported police believed to have found the man's vehicle - a Ford Focus with Pennsylvania license plates.

Princeton University@Princeton

.@PrincetonPolice were called to the Panera restaurant on Nassau Street across from the campus, and they have an armed man surrounded inside the building. http://ow.ly/JkYz30j3p9r 

10:17 AM - Mar 20, 2018

Princeton police surround armed man at Nassau Street restaurant

Municipality of Princeton police were called to the Panera restaurant on Nassau Street across from the Princeton University campus, and they have the man surrounded inside.

princeton.edu

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The university sent out an alert to students and faculty. On its website, officials said two nearby campus buildings - Henry House and Scheide Caldwell House - were being evacuated.

"It is not known whether the gunman has any connection to the University," the university said. "Classes are not in session, as this is the week of spring break."

A second alert sent out to the Princeton University community saying there was a shelter-in-place and shots fired was sent out as a mistake.

Princeton University@Princeton

Some University community members received a PTENS telephone call that incorrectly said shots had been reported and a shelter-in-place order was issued. NO SHOTS WERE FIRED; THERE IS NO SHELTER-IN-PLACE order. Continue to avoid the area. http://ow.ly/M4xf30j3CUR 

11:22 AM - Mar 20, 2018

Princeton police surround armed man at Nassau Street restaurant

Municipality of Princeton police were called to the Panera restaurant on Nassau Street across from the Princeton University campus, and they have the man surrounded inside.

princeton.edu

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"Some University community members received a PTENS telephone call that incorrectly said shots had been reported and a shelter-in-place order was issued," the university tweeted. "NO SHOTS WERE FIRED; THERE IS NO SHELTER-IN-PLACE order. Continue to avoid the area."

Princeton public schools were sheltering in place due to the incident.

Gary Snyder@PHS_Snyder

PHS is monitoring situation in town and we are in "shelter-in-place" status as a precaution.   "Shelter in place" keeps us secure indoors, instruction able to continue, and on stand-by for updates.

10:10 AM - Mar 20, 2018

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“PHS is monitoring situation in town and we are in ‘shelter-in-place’ status as a precaution,” Gary Snyder, principal at Princeton High School tweeted. “’Shelter-in-place’ keeps us secure indoors, instruction able to continue and on stand-by for updates.”

Tom Morrison, a retired sheriff's deputy from Kern County, California, told NJ.com he was at a Starbucks nearby on Nassau Street when he saw the police arrive.

"I ran outside to get some of the people who came to look behind the perimeter," Morrison said. "The police were operating with efficiency. They were putting up the perimeter pretty fast."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

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