American University initiated a lockdown on Wednesday afternoon, reporting an armed intruder in proximity to the campus.
The school informed the public of the incident at 1:26pm EST, telling individuals to lock their doors and keep away from windows and to exit the campus if outside.
“At approximately 1:00 today, a white male was spotted in the 3300 block of New Mexico Avenue, NW,” AU spokeswoman Kelly Alexander told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It was reported that the individual had an exposed handgun.”
Alexander said that while the location described in the report was not on AU’s campus, the school decided to be cautious and initiate a lockdown regardless.
American University reported that its investigation centered on East Campus, Main Campus, and 3201 New Mexico less than half an hour later. The school said that American University police, metro police, and the Secret Service were tag-teaming the investigation and performing building by building searches. (RELATED: Police: Maryland High School On Lockdown, Shots Fired)
“If outside, leave campus,” the school said. “If inside, shelter in place.”
“Gaps in AU’s text alert system was a story I tried repeatedly to report while at [an American University paper]
and could never get clear answers from [American University],” AU graduate Kate Magill said. “Today is a day when those gaps matter. A lot.”
The student tweeted her complaint 16 minutes after the university reported fixing a delay in its email alerts.
“We are aware of the concerns,” AU responded. “Someone from [University Communications and Marketing] and [American University Police Department] will respond directly to you once the emergency situation is over.”
AU’s police department lifted the lockdown at 4:38pm EST.
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