The “all clear” has been given after students at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury were told to ‘shelter in place’ for three hours following a report of a gunman on the Westside Campus Tuesday afternoon.
At 2:05 p.m, WCSU officials issued a text alert to students and posted on the school’s website that Westside Campus students should shelter in place.
Giselle Tito and Greg Campbell were both in class when their cell phones started buzzing with the notification.
“My stomach kind of sank,” Campbell told News 8. “We threw six or seven tables against the door and sat against the wall away from the door and window. We just waited it out.”
“Our professor told us to read the message, stay calm and stay quiet,” Tito added.
“Report of person with a gun in the VPA building. Shelter in place if you are on the Westside campus.”
The school said the person was reportedly seen in the Visual and Performing Arts building on the Westside campus. Danbury’s Police Chief, Patrick Ridenhour said two students made reports.
“One person said they saw a person with a rifle with a clip and the other said they saw a suspicious person – didn’t specify what type of weapon – other than they had a duffel bag,” Chief Ridenhour told News 8.
Joint State Police and Danbury Police Dept. respond to an unsubstantiated report of a man with a long gun at Westconn. Police are working on the scene. #Danbury— Mayor Mark Boughton (@MayorMark) November 20, 2018
Just before 3:10 p.m., officials at WestConn said they were going room-to-room searching for the gunman.
UPDATE: Shelter in place continues on the Westside campus only. Police are going room-to-room to secure the Visual & Performing Arts Center. Nothing has been found. Continue to shelter in place at Westside until further notice.— WestConn (@WestConn) November 20, 2018
Surrounding schools were also placed on lockdown. According to Danbury Mark Boughton, Westside Middle School and Mill Ridge Elementary were released under Danbury PD supervision.
Just before 3:30 p.m., Mayor Boughton tweeted that students at the Western Connecticut Academy for International Studies would be dismissed from the rear of their school building under the supervision of Danbury police officers.
By 3:40 p.m., police completed their initial sweep of the Visual and Performing Arts building. No suspect or gun was found. They then conducted a room-by-room clearance of the building.
First responders also sent up a drone to search the campus and immediate area for any signs of a gunman.
Students on the Westside Campus tell News 8 that school officials are with Danbury officers visiting students in the buildings.
Danbury- a student at West Conn. says the VP of student affairs and police are in the campus center answering questions.— Noelle Gardner (@NoelleGardner) November 20, 2018
Just after 4:05 p.m., WestConn officials announced that all classes at both campuses have been canceled for Tuesday night.
UPDATE: As of 4pm today, all classes & activities on both campuses are canceled. Continue to shelter in place at Westside. The process of securing the Visual & Performing Arts Ctr is continuing & nothing has been found. We will continue to update as more info becomes available.— WestConn (@WestConn) November 20, 2018
The “all-clear” was given just after 5:00 p.m.
Around 5:20 p.m., Boughton confirmed that there were no suspects.
Web Extra: Noelle Gardner speaks to WCSU students after lockdown is put in place
This is a developing story. News 8 will add more details as soon as they become available.