Suspected A&M gunman actually someone with replica

AP News
Posted: Oct 28, 2010 8:08 PM
Suspected A&M gunman actually someone with replica

A report of a suspected gunman at Texas A&M University had the campus on lockdown for about two hours Thursday before school officials said it was a person with a replica weapon.

Campus police received a report that a person who appeared to be carrying a rifle had been seen in Rudder Tower, a building near the student union, according to the university. A&M spokesman Lane Stephenson said the suspected gunman had been spotted by a campus driver who was on his route.

The situation at first raised fears of what happened last month when a student opened fire on the University of Texas campus in Austin before he eventually turned the gun on himself in the library.

A&M's emergency notification system sent texts and e-mails telling students, faculty and staff to remain indoors while police looked for the suspected gunman. Students reported seeing police, including SWAT team members, searched all over campus.

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.

About two miles away from where the suspected gunman was spotted, the university was to hold an event where former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were hosting former first lady Laura Bush at the George Bush Presidential Library Center. Stephenson said the Bush event was still planned as scheduled.

The A&M campus, which ranks as the nation's sixth-largest university in enrollment with more than 49,000 students, is 95 miles northwest of Houston.