A lockdown has ended at Central State University after a search for a suspect with a gun.
Around 8 p.m. on social media the university said “There is a report of an active shooter on CSU main campus in Wilberforce, Ohio. RUN, HIDE, FIGHT!”
About 20 minutes later the school deleted it and put out an updated statement saying police were searching for an armed suspect.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office said there is not an active shooter on campus but during a fight on campus a gun was reported to be seen. Shots were not fired, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Unfortunately, when the alert went out, it generated an automatic message that went to Facebook that said there was an active shooter. There was not an active shooter,” Debbie Alberico, interim public relations director for the university said.
D’Angelo Taylor, vice president for student affairs said that whenever there is an report of a gun on campus an automatic alert goes out reporting an active shooter.
Taylor said the university will later update with specific details of what is happening.
Some students said they were confused by the alarm.
“We thought it was a fire alarm at first,” Amaya Richards, a freshman said.
The alarm said “the subject with a gun is a black male wearing a dark color hoodie”, which was scary to read for some.
“It made my heart jump a little,” Philip Hamilton, a freshman said.
Alberico said she apologizes for any panic the original message may have caused.
“I apologize for the error that came out on Facebook. Again, it was auto-generated and we need to get that fixed,” Alberico said.
Students said this problem should have never happened.
“I would say very problematic because it’s making situations more serious than it really needs to be,” Jordan Minniefield said.
“I feel like a lot of people don’t make it out of certain types of situations like this,” Chase Span said.
“We’re a very caring campus ... we never want anything like this to happen,” Taylor said.
Around 11 p.m., officials said the lockdown was lifted. No suspects have been taken into custody at this time.