No threat to campus following false alarm report of gunman on 15th Avenue
Belmont students around parts of campus went into lockdown around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, after a student reported seeing a man with what appeared to be a rifle on 15th Avenue to Campus Security.
Campus Security has since confirmed from video surveillance that the individual was not carrying a rifle or weapon, and that there was no threat to campus.
The report followed Sunday morning’s Waffle House shooting in Antioch, Tennessee, which left at least four dead — including Belmont senior DeEbony Groves.
The suspect, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, is still at large and is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Though the report was made hours after the shooting, there is no evidence at this time that the Campus Security report and Waffle House shooting are linked.
Gabhart Student Center, the Massey Performing Arts Center, the Lila D. Bunch Library and other buildings on campus went into lockdown shortly after the report was received.
Belmont students Mikael Jackson and Kelsey Thornton were studying in Gabhart when they were told by a Campus Security officer that there was “a threat near the perimeter” and that they needed to move away from windows and doors, Jackson said.
The two were moved into a back room, where Belmont Kappa Alpha Theta was hosting chapter.
Belmont senior Mary Kate Carragher was also inside Gabhart during the lockdown.
“Everyone was very confused but we just went to the side of the room where we couldn’t see the windows or doors,” Carragher said. “I thought it was just a tornado drill, but no one was in the duck position so we were just sitting there confused.”
After 20 minutes, Campus Security sent out an alert notifying students that there was no threat to campus.
“Metro and Belmont officers are checking the area,” the alert said. “The subject has not been located but at this time there does not appear to be a threat to the campus.”
“We’d urge campus community to be alert, cautious and report any further concerns, but there is no known threat.”