Police surround Panera Bread near Princeton U. in standoff with armed man

Police have surrounded a Panera Bread across the street from Princeton University’s campus Tuesday morning after in a standoff with an armed man inside the eatery, authorities said.

The situation began unfolding about 10 a.m. when officers arrived with guns drawn and crouched behind vehicles on Nassau Street, a block from Princeton University’s Nassau Hall.

“We’re currently negotiating with an armed subject (inside Panera),” Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter said. He said there are no known hostages at this point. He said the FBI and State Police were assisting.

“I heard a cop say there’s a shotgun to someone’s head and then the area was surrounded by police,” said Suzannah B. Troy, a witness who took video of the scene as she ran for safety behind a UPS truck.

Nassau Street was shut down between Washington and Witherspoon, as nearby businesses were evacuated. Princeton University evacuated Henry House and Scheide Caldwell House, the two campus buildings closest to the restaurant.

Tom Morrison, a retired sheriff’s deputy from Kern County, California, said he was in 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.”

Troy said she saw people leaving the Panera.

“I did see one elderly man exit Panera bread he was OK but he looked confused and then more and more police came and the area still blockaded,” Troy said.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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