J. Sargeant Reynolds cancels all downtown Richmond classes after threat

J. Sargeant Reynolds cancels all downtown Richmond classes after threat
Published: Oct. 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2014 at 9:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The man who caused a scare at the J. Sergeant Reynolds downtown campus is getting a medicalevaluationn and treatment, according to Richmond Police.  No charges have been placed yet.

While the original campus alert went out as an "active gunman near campus."  Police say this was not an active shooter investigation, no shots were fired and nobody was hurt.  But police say the threat were serious enough that it called for a large response.

Police say the man is in his 40's and he is not a student or an employee.

NBC12 cameras captured the SWAT team moving in.  Inside the J. Sergeant Reynolds downtown campus, students were ordered to shelter in place.  Police say several calls came in around 9:40 a.m. for a man acting erratically, wearing fatigue type clothing.  "The individual made it into the inside of the building, some threats were overheard," says Major Steve Drew with the Richmond Police Department.

Those threats were serious enough to call for a lockdown and an alert went out about a gunman near campus.  Nobody except law enforcement was allowed in or out and 7th and 8th streets near the school were blocked off.

Some students were alarmed to learn what was happening.  "I would not expect it happen to a community college I did not expect nothing like this to happen," says Markeya Cotman, a student.

Police say within a couple minutes of the call, they found the man.  "The individual we were looking for was found quickly up on the second floor he was taken into custody without incident," says Major Drew.

But police say no weapon was ever found and no shots were fired.

But nobody was allowed inside yet.  Officers still had to clear the building, which meant checking all six floors.  Students and staff remained inside.  An NBC12 viewer took a photo of the SWAT team inside the building.

Just after 12:30 p.m., police gave the all clear and students were able to evacuate.  The school's spokesperson says there are security officers and the campus has its own police force.   We asked: how did this man get to the second floor?  "As Major Drew said it was a situation this morning, with different calls coming in we did push out our emergency alert to all our social media channels and our student distribution list email advising students to shelter in place," says Tom Schilling, the school's spokesperson.

Police say overall they are pleased with the cooperation and response in a very scary situation.  Many agencies helped out ncluding includingmond Fire Department, Ambulance authority, U.S. Marshals and FBI.

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