Authorities lifted a campus-wide lockdown of Stevenson University Monday at around 5:30 p.m. following an investigation into reports of a gunman on campus, officials said.
Police said officers were speaking with two male students about the incident. Investigators found a pellet gun in a truck on the campus, according to Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost.
Police said the two males opted to speak with police voluntarily. University officials said the panic was triggered by two students who "had the poor judgment" of hunting with BB guns in a wooded area near the school. (See the full statement below)
Police said at around 9 p.m. that no charges would be filed against the students who caused the panic.
Students describe being terrified as they remained in locked classrooms for the duration of the three hour investigation. Briana Dean, a freshman at the university, says she was locked in a closet with six other people.
"Out of nowhere, a message flashing on the computer screen saying it was an active shooting," Dean said. "Everyone started running frantically and we hid in this room that was as big as a closet with seven people and it was dark as crap. We were scared and shaking and it was scary."
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At around 2:30 p.m., text message and email alerts were sent to students, faculty and staff at Stevenson University with an order to shelter in place. The message contained the warning of an "active shooting situation," although at no time did police confirm shots fired.
Officials with the Baltimore County Police Department said the incident began when two people saw what they thought was a person with a gun and called 911.
Stevenson University President Kevin J. Manning issued the following statement in regards to the incident Monday:
I am sending this message to all of you to confirm that the Owings Mills campus lockdown has safely concluded. I am certain that you are all relieved that this is resolved and that you can return to your normal schedules. However, we have decided to cancel Owings Mills evening classes and activities. It appears that the incident was caused by two students who had the poor judgment of hunting in the woods with two BB rifles near campus. We are proud of the response of our security staff, students and others in acting quickly and cooperatively with our campus alerts. While we are relieved with this safe outcome, this has been a sobering experience for us and our families. This reminds us all of the importance of our “see something, say something” mantra. Nothing is more important than your safety. Thank you for your continued support.
#BCoPD have no confirmation of active shooter situation at this time. EA— BACO Public Safety (@BACOPoliceFire) March 31, 2014