Law enforcement officials from five agencies descended on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wednesday morning to investigate a report of an armed person walking on campus.
Authorities found no such person in nearly 30 minutes of searching, but the response prompted a campus lockdown that included sirens warning students, staff and faculty to shelter in place.
UNC Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff McCracken said the initial call to police originated on campus at about 8:22 a.m.
“A call was received stating that an individual armed with a rifle was seen entering our Naval ROTC building,” McCracken said in a 10:30 a.m. news conference.
Officials from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Chapel Hill Police Department, Carrboro Police Department and UNC Department of Public Safety all responded to the area, near the intersection of South and McCauley streets, cleared the ROTC building and were unable to locate any armed individuals.
It was cool and rainy in Chapel Hill this morning, all but assuring that the non-existent rifle was an umbrella that had been closed by a student or faculty member about to enter the building.
It’s fun to mock the easily-triggered social justice snowflakes at North Carolina’s most delicate (and corrupt) university, but it isn’t the first time that people attempting to stay dry have caused a university to panic in the Tarheel State.
A man walking with an umbrella near East Carolina University triggered a similar lock-down in 2011.