Replica Rifle Prompts Lockdown at A&M

Thursday, Oct 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:55 PM CDT
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Replica Rifle Prompts Lockdown at A&M

NBCDFW.com

Texas A&M University locked down its main campus Thursday after a report that a suspected gunman had been spotted near the student union.

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Part of Texas A&M University was lock downed for two hours after a report of an armed person on campus Thursday afternoon.

The univerity gave the all-clear on its website at 5:34 p.m., saying that a person with a replica training rifle was identified and there was no danger.

The person with the replica weapon was being questioned, said Sgt. Allan Baron of Texas A&M Police.

University spokesman Lane Stephenson said earlier a campus bus driver reported seeing an individual carrying a weapon, possibly a rifle, in Rudder Tower, a building near the student union, while he on his route at about 4 p.m.

The university's emergency notification system, called "Code Maroon," sent texts and e-mail telling students, faculty and staff to remain indoors while police searched for the suspected gunman. Students reported seeing police, including SWAT team members, search all over campus.

Students were advised to seek shelter until the situation was cleared. There were no reports of any shots being fired.

About two hours later, students, faculty and staff were notified that there was no danger and they could resume normal activities.

"University officials believe the basis for the report was an individual who had in his possession a 'dummy' rifle -- a replica," according to the A&M statement.

The person with the replica rifle had apparently walked through Rudder Tower on his way to the western part of campus, where he got into his car and drove home, A&M officials said.

The university said no actual weapon had been found.

Former first ladys Laura Bush and Barbara Bush and former President George H. W. Bush were on campus about two miles away from the reported gun sighting. Laura Bush was expected to speak at 5:30 p.m. during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the George Bush Presidential Library Center.

The incident was not expected to affect the event.

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