A Ball State gunman report turned out to be a false alarm, and the campus resumed normal activities Friday night just in time for a visit from comedian Jim Gaffigan.
At close to 4:40 pm on Friday the campus was placed on lockdown after reports of a possible gunman.
Students were told of the possible Ball State gunman through a message sent across the campus that read:
“Possible armed assailant in the area of rec and wellness. Avoid HP, Lewellen, Rec Center, HP, and Arena. Follow safety direction from UPD on site.”
Police searched in several buildings and declared them safe, and after the entire campus had been checked the alert was lifted just before 8 pm.
A second notice was later sent to students to them know that the search had ended.
“Campus is secure; resume normal activities,” the university posted to its website late in the afternoon on Friday.
A gunshot was heard during the search. Police later said it was not the Ball State gunman but instead just a service weapon that had accidentally been discharged.
The case is similar to reports of a gunman on the Central Connecticut State Campus earlier this month. The campus was placed on emergency lockdown after students saw a man in dark clothing with a semi-automatic weapon and a sword.
“I saw a guy with camouflage pants, knee pads a body armor vest, paint ball mask with tinted goggles, and he had a Katana strapped to his back,” CCSU junior Jordan Governale said. “Less than a minute after I saw him, as I was walking off campus, I saw seven or eight cop cars in the direction he was going in.”
But police later determined that the gunman was really just a student wearing a Halloween costume. They arrested 21-year-old David Kyem and charged him with disturbing the peace.
There were rampant rumors during the Ball state gunman search, including that there was a hostage crisis on campus. College officials later denied those reports.