Local News

Lockdown ends at Robeson college after no gunman found

Posted November 1, 2012 1:27 p.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2012 6:12 p.m. EDT

— Robeson Community College was locked down for more than two hours Thursday as police investigated a report of an armed man on campus.

A student reported seeing a gunman inside a classroom building shortly before 11:30 a.m. while working in a nursing lab, officials said.

"They just kind of pushed back a curtain and saw the gunman. The initial statement was that they could only see a gun and an arm," college Vice President Alphonzo McRae said.

The gunman fled when the unidentified student screamed, McRae said. An instructor then called campus security, and the 2,500-student college was locked down while security and Lumberton police investigated.

"The protocol is to lock their rooms, lock their offices (and) stay put until they get an all-clear," college President Charles Chrestman said. "Everybody was concerned, but they behaved as pros."

After sweeping the campus, Lumberton police found no sign of the gunman, and no one else reported seeing anything suspicious.

Investigators interviewed the student, who didn't see the gunman's face. The only description they have of a possible suspect is a man seen leaving the building around that time who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Police plan to review footage from campus security cameras to see if they can identify the man.

Classes resumed at 2 p.m., and several nursing students said they got a text message from their professor saying that everything was OK.

"I couldn't believe it because it's not normal around here, on this campus," student Latasha Locklear said.

"We're kind of scared going here today, knowing they haven't found anyone or (don't) know what's going on," student Tina Bell said.