Student with BB gun leads to campus lockdown

Officials tell us it all started when a witness noticed a man walking with a handgun near the intersection at Patterson and First Streets.

A text alert sent out Saturday night by Truman officials left our phone lines flooded and emails pouring in.

It all started as an ordinary Saturday evening but once the TruAlert text message was sent out it turned out to be anything but.

"Actually I was getting ready to go to bed and got the text and was kinda like is this really happening," said Bill Vaughn, Truman student.

Officials tell us it all started when a witness noticed a man walking with a handgun near the intersection at Patterson and First Streets.

He was then spotted walking thought campus, forcing officials to place the campus on lockdown.

Chief Tom Johnson with Truman State University Police tells us he would much rather respond to a hundred false alarms than to not respond to something that really happened.

Chief Johnson said a witness called in and noticed the man placing what they thought was a handgun, in his waist band.

Sometime around the 9 p.m. Friday, officials decided to place the campus on lockdown, meaning no one could enter or exit the dorms or academic buildings.

"We put a message out, just to inform people that we had this report and to take precaution," Johnson said.

Chief Johnson says there was no immediate danger for students or the general public.

"I called in all my officers to get them in here so we'll have a visible presence and then we worked with the city also just searching for the guy based upon the description we had," said Johnson.

That description, an Asian male about 5' 8'' inches tall, wearing a white leather jacket and dark jeans.

Truman State University Police say the man was a student and they found him around 1 o'clock Sunday morning near Centennial Hall.

"Since all he had was a BB gun it's not a legal violation, however he will be facing probably some university consequences," said Johnson.

Chief Johnson tells us they have handed everything over to the University to deal with at this point.

Truman student Bill Vaughn said he still feels safe on campus.

"No I don't worry about that," said Vaughn. "The school does a pretty good job of giving us safe zones and things like that and lets us know where we need to go in case something like that happens and then obviously the text alerts."

The Chief tells me they are trained to handle these situations and rely heavily on the public to report these situations.

Chief Johnson also said it's important for everyone to watch out for each other.

He said law enforcement can't be everywhere all the time so letting them know, will help them get to the bottom of the situation, just like this incident.

Click here for recent stories