A gunman killed at least three people and wounded others at a private Christian college in Oakland, California, on Monday, and a suspect has been taken into custody, authorities said.

Local television reports showed police evacuating students at Oikos University and loading them into a SWAT vehicle as armed officers took up positions around the school.

We're still evacuating the interior of the school. Our first priority is to evacuate the injured. Right now the SWAT team is searching the school, Oakland Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

A police official who declined to be named said more than three people were killed in the shooting rampage. Two bodies could be seen on a grassy median strip in front of the school, covered by sheets, about two hours later.

No imminent public safety threat appears to exist in immediate area, police said in a written statement.

A spokeswoman for Highland Memorial Hospital in Oakland said the facility had received five casualties from the shooting rampage, She declined to say if they were killed or wounded or give details on their conditions.

The shooting comes just over a month after a student gunman in Ohio opened fire in a high school cafeteria, killing three students in the deadliest shooting rampage at a U.S. high school in six years.

Oikos, which has programs in theology, nursing, music and Asian medicine, describes itself on its website as having been started to provide the highest standard education with Christian value and inspiration.

(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Mary Slosson; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Xavier Briand)