LIVERMORE, Calif. – An East Bay community college went into a lockdown and police ordered students to “shelter in place” Wednesday over a report of a student with a rifle in his backpack on campus.
Around 10:45 a.m., a faculty member at Las Positas College reported what she believed to be a partially concealed rifle in the backpack of a student and called campus safety, who then called in the Livermore Police and ordered everyone on campus to take shelter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Police initially described the cause of the lockdown as a “suspicious circumstance.”
CBS San Francisco reports:
Officers responded and eventually located the student in a classroom and found the Nerf gun in his possession. The student said he brought it as a prop for an event unrelated to the school and had no intention of causing a disruption, police said.
Livermore Police told the new site the 20-year-old student who brought the Nerf gun to school will not face criminal charges. He was hauled out of class in handcuffs but later released. The news site broadcast video of the suspicious weapon, which was bright blue with bright orange accessories.
“In this day and age everybody has to kind of think about what they’re doing,” Sgt. John Hurd said. “There clearly was no intent to cause all this to happen. Somebody made a poor decision.”
School officials alluded to tragedies like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas for sparking the police response, which involved officers sweeping the campus until about noon. The school’s American flag was at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of those who died in the Las Vegas shooting over the weekend.
“Perhaps on another day the employee would have just said that’s just a toy,” Las Positas Vice Chancellor Doug Horned told CBS San Francisco. “But there is a heightened sense of awareness that any day, any time and anywhere we could be in danger.”
Several folks weighed in on the lockdown online.
“Well, better safe then (sic) sorry!” Shawna Sargis posted. “Keep your nerf guns at home people!”
“Well, the lockdown at Las Positas College is over. It was a Nerf gun, not a real gun,” Michael Gilbert wrote. “Turns out that not everyone who goes to college is smart.”
“Wait a min … wait a min … mouthaf***as in 2017 can’t tell the difference between Nerf and real?” Quentrel Hunter questioned with numerous crying emojis. “College students.”
“Wow for a Nerf gun!” Jonathan Dutra added. “Lol how can u not tell it’s a toy gun!”
“Over a Nerf gun … umm .. ok,” Melissa Helm posted.