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University declares all clear after lockdown

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:15 PM EST, Wed November 16, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "There is no threat to campus," the school says
  • A suspect appeared to be carrying a weapon similar to an assault rifle, police said
  • No shots were fired, officials said
  • The school has more than 20,000 on-campus students, more than 5,000 faculty and staff

(CNN) -- East Carolina University declared "all clear" Wednesday after reports of an armed suspect triggered a lockdown.

"ECU Officials have determined that the situation has ended and that there is no threat to campus," the school said on its website shortly before 1 p.m. ET.

The school first reported an "armed individual" nearby shortly after 10 a.m., and said to "secure offices and buildings."

There were no reports of shots fired, officials said.

Police received a call from a citizen at about 10:15 a.m. ET who reported seeing a man on a street adjacent to campus with what appeared to be an assault rifle, the Greenville, North Carolina police department said.

Police used traffic cameras to pull up images and saw a man wearing a backpack and carrying what appeared to be a weapon similar to an assault rifle in his right hand, police Sgt. Carlton Williams said.

Campus police searched the area, Williams said.

The university said, its police were "systemically sweeping the campus as they continue to investigate an armed suspect spotted near the corner of 5th and Reade Street around 10 a.m. today. Residence halls have been locked down and are secure. ECU Police are coordinating with Greenville Police and the Pitt County Sheriffs Department."

School officials told students and faculty to stay indoors.

The university's annual on-campus enrollment is more than 20,000, according to statistics on the school website. It has 1,700 full-time faculty members and more than 3,500 staff members.

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