Southwestern College. Courtesy of the college

An unidentified man’s muttered, potentially threatening comments in an elevator at Southwestern College prompted a lockdown of the building Monday while authorities searched in vain for him.

A student riding in the lift with the man at a student-services complex at the Chula Vista campus about 1:30 p.m. overheard him mumbling that “everybody was going to die,” college spokeswoman Lillian Leopold said.

The witness reported the encounter to a staff member, after which the structure was placed on lockdown while campus police tried to track down the man, who was wearing a gray sweatshirt and white ear buds.

After a roughly half-hour search turned up no sign of the suspect, campus officials reopened the building to normal operations, Leopold said.

— City News Service