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USF police calls off alarm after finding no sign of a man with gun on campus

TAMPA — University of South Florida Police have completed a search after getting a report of someone on campus, and sent out a message to students and faculty saying they "found nothing,'' and "all activities continues as normal.''

Shortly after 4 p.m. USF police responded to a report of a man with a gun on the northeast side of the Tampa campus near Greek Village. In an alert to the USF community they have asked that everyone avoid the area.

USF Lt. Meg Ross said they received a report of someone with a gun walking along 50th Street between Fletcher Avenue and Holly Drive. The man was described as 18 to 21 years old, wearing blue jeans and a white tee shirt with the slogan "Go Greek'' on it.

At 5:28 p.m. they sent out the following message: "After a report of man with gun, police conducted thorough search of area. Search complete. Nothing found. All activities continue as normal.''

No shots were fired, and no buildings were evacuated during the incident. Tampa police and Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies assisted in the search.

Last June the campus police sent out a similar security alert about a report of a man with a rifle on campus. About 15 minutes later, they determined that the person was an ROTC student who was carrying his practice rifle. The ROTC student was not in uniform at the time.

This year the university has added sirens that signal if there is a serious threat to safety and security.

The sirens are only being installed on USF's Tampa campus, but the text-messaging service, known as Mo-Bull, covers more than 50,700 students, faculty members and staff members on all of USF's campuses.

That alarm marked the first time USF authorities had responded to a possible shooter since the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech shootings, which killed 33 and heightened campus security across all U.S. colleges.

USF police calls off alarm after finding no sign of a man with gun on campus 06/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:39pm]
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