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NC A&T lockdown sparked by man with umbrella

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Officers patrol the area around North Carolina A&T after receiving a report of a gunman on campus. (WXII) Officers patrol the area around North Carolina A&T after receiving a report of a gunman on campus. (WXII)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -

If this story sounds all too familiar, it's because it is.

North Carolina A&T State University was on lockdown for more than two hours after two faculty members reported seeing a man carrying a backpack and what appeared to be a rifle.

However after reviewing surveillance video of the area where the suspect was spotted, police say the man was carrying an umbrella.

In November 2011, a similar kneejerk report put East Carolina's campus on lockdown while police searched the campus for a man with a rifle. The purported gunman was also properly prepared for afternoon showers.

On Friday, a text message alerting students to the situation was sent through the AggieAlert system at 9:44 a.m. Campus police Chief Glen Newell said two faculty members initially saw a man with what they believed was a rifle, so they reported the sighting to a dean's office.

Newell said the faculty members reported seeing a young man carrying a backpack that had the outline of a possible shotgun.

University Police Department investigators reviewed footage of the building where the man was spotted to find the suspect fitting the description and timeline of events. Upon reviewing the footage, police observed a man entering the building carrying an umbrella over his shoulder with a strap attached.

The University lifted the lockdown around 12:30 p.m. Friday. The University said "normal activities will resume" and classes resumed at 2 p.m.

In addition to the University, several area schools were also put on lockdown, including Aycock Middle School, Dudley High School, Washington Elementary School, Academy at Lincoln, Bluford Academy, STEM Early College and the Middle College.

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