Campus police lockdown university for 3-hours after administrators mistake umbrella for rifle

Josiah Ryan
Contributing Reporter
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Police at a public university locked down the campus for three-hours on Tuesday after school administrators misidentified a student’s umbrella as a rifle.

Police put North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on lockdown after mistaking a man's umbrella for a rifle.

“I had a bunch of automatic weapons pointed at me,” North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) economics professor Jeffrey Edwards, told The Winston-Salem Journal following the lockdown on Tuesday.

According to campus police, two staff members of A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina, triggered the actions at 9:16 a.m. by dialing 911 and reporting they had spotted a man enter a classroom building carrying a rifle.

The resulting lockdown lasted for three hours and eventually spread to nearby Guilford County Schools, including four high schools, two middle schools, and two elementary schools.

According to a local newspaper, the Winston-Salem Journal, A&T police Chief Glenn Newell said at a news conference that police realized the mistake after reviewing video which revealed the “rifle” was in fact an umbrella.

According to popular weather site Weather Underground, there was just a ten-percent chance of rain in Greensboro on Tuesday.

In response to the perceived threat dozens of “unmarked patrol cars” were lined up outside the university and students and staff received text messages warning them of a possible shooter on campus, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

A&T is a land-grant university located in, United States. It is the largest publicly funded historically black college (HBCU) in the state of North Carolina.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JosiahRyan

Josiah Ryan

Josiah Ryan

Contributing Reporter

Josiah Ryan is a contributing reporter for and former director of communications for LI's Campus Leadership Program. 

Previously Josiah reported on the U.S. Senate for The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. and was the cofounder of The Floor Action blog, a live-stream on policy, politics, and procedure in the upper chamber.

Josiah served as a reporter for the Jerusalem Post and JPOST TV in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he wrote on religion, culture, and the conflict.

Josiah is 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College. 

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