BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana State University says there was no threat at any time to the campus or students after a report of an armed intruder on campus Tuesday.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said a shelter-in-place order was lifted and the university returned to normal operations after police conducted a room-by-room search of Coates Hall and found no threat.
Ballard said LSU officials were aware of a plainclothes police officer who had a visible gun on his belt and was in the building for an event at the time of the report, but they do not know if that's what prompted the report of a gun.
LSUPD first notified students that an "armed intruder" had been reported in Coates Hall and police were on the scene around 3 p.m. through text messages and on social media, telling them to "Run, Hide or Fight." Those are the actions recommended by the US Government in an active shooter situation.
LSU professor Dr. Edward Gibbons said that the situation started when a member of a cleaning crew in Coates Hall told a teaching assistant that they saw someone with a pistol.
"We locked the office doors, locked all of our doors and started watching news and exchanging text messages to figure out what was going on," Gibbons said.
When asked if anyone was found with a pistol, Gibbons replied, "Not that I'm aware of."
In a later post, university officials said: "The situation is ongoing. No shots have been fired, and there are no injuries. Continue to avoid the area or remain in a safe place."
Police had cordoned off an area around the building with tape and several officers were present, but life on the campus appeared to go on without disruption. No shots were fired and no one was injured. Students mingled at the student union across the street, and traffic flowed normally.
Classes are not in session at the state's flagship university, but many students have been moving back to the school after summer break.
Coates Hall houses academic departments and several student support services, according to the LSU website.
The tweet, especially the "run, hide or fight" part, generated a lot of comment on Twitter by the public, much of it taking exception to the phrase.
But, LSU's Tweet had its defenders, especially those noting that the 'run, hide, fight' instruction is the accepted response to a report of an 'active shooter.'
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.