PD: Trespasser on Ottawa University's Surprise campus had 2 guns in car

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Mug shot of 31-year-old Steven Ziya. (Source: Surprise PD) Mug shot of 31-year-old Steven Ziya. (Source: Surprise PD)
SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Police arrested a trespasser on the Ottawa University campus in Surprise Tuesday and then learned he “had at least two handguns in his car.”

According to Sgt. Tim Klarkowski of the Surprise Police Department, it started with a call about a trespasser who “was behaving suspiciously.”

[RELATED: PCSO: 2 Combs HS students talked about shooting up school, started GoFundMe for ammo]

Officers detained the man, later identified as 31-year-old Steven Ziya, without incident only to discover that he had weapons in his vehicle.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the students and staff were evacuated from the campus and a security sweep was conducted,” Klarkowski said in an email alert about the incident. “There were no items of concern discovered during the security sweep.”

[RELATED: 4 gun-related incidents at AZ high schools prompt call for metal detectors]

Ziya, who is a resident of Sun City, is facing charges of trespassing, disruption of educational institution and forgery for possessing an altered driver's license.

Investigators have not determined why he was on campus nor have they said what it was about his behavior that drew attention.

The school used its Facebook page to keep people apprised of the situation as it was unfolding.

It's not clear if Ziya made any kind of threat, but there have been a number of gun-related incidents and threats at Arizona schools over the past several days.

[RELATED: Police investigating online threat against elementary school in Gilbert]

In addition, Gila Ridge High School in Yuma canceled classes and events on campus Tuesday after police there started receiving calls and Facebook messages Monday night about a possible imminent shooting. Police searched the school and found nothing of concern, eventually determining that the social media post that sparked the frenzy was not actually a threat and that there was "unfiltered and widespread distribution of misinformation," according to Sgt. Lori Franklin.

Parents and students throughout the state -- and all over the country -- are on edge in the wake of the deadly school shooting at a Florida high school nearly two weeks ago.

[RELATED: Police arrest teen for having gun on campus at Liberty HS in Peoria]

And it's not just elementary and high schools that are targets.

former Arizona State University student was arrested on suspicion of making a terrorist threat after police say he posted on social media about getting a gun and shooting people.

[RELATED: PD: Former ASU student accused of making terrorist threat had 'fatalist state of mind']

Ottawa University’s Surprise campus, one of three in Arizona, is located along Civic Center Drive north of Greenway Road.

According to its Facebook page, Ottawa University serves nearly 10,000 students at its seven campuses and online.

The university has been operating in Arizona since 1977.


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