UVA Wise Lockdown Over After Gunman Hoax

By Matthew Stabley
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:27 PM EDT
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A lockdown at the University of Virginia's Wise satellite campus is over following a hoax report of a gunman on campus.

Virginia State Police confirmed that a student confessed it was a hoax.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, a UVA-Wise student called 911 to report seeing a man on campus armed with a gun, state police said. Campus police, Town of Wise Police, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Pound Police and Virginia State Police immediately responded and began a building-by-building search.

Meanwhile, special agents with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office interviewed the student who reported the gunman, and the student confessed the hoax, state police said.

The school had alerted the school community to one possible gunman. Reports of multiple gunmen surfaced on Twitter.

Students were told to find a safe place, lock all doors and stay put until further notice. They received word the lockdown was over before 11 p.m. Wise County/City of Norton Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Elkins tweeted, "Lockdown over. It was a hoax. Everyone safe."

One student on campus told her parents she was told to run into the gym and hide. Other students told News4 they were told to turn off their lights and silence their phones and they heard police with guns running through their dorms.

The campus in the far southwest part of the state near the borders of Tennessee and North Carolina has about 2,000 students.

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