Classes resume after threat report at JCCC proves unfounded - WNEM TV 5

Classes resume after threat report at JCCC proves unfounded

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Miguel M. Morales ‏@TrustMiguel Miguel M. Morales ‏@TrustMiguel

Classes went ahead as normal on Friday at Johnson County Community College, but some students and staff may have been a bit more apprehensive than normal on a Friday.

This came hours after officials locked down and then cleared the sprawling campus following a report of a woman carrying a long gun on the campus. The campus was locked down for more than three hours and some students and staff huddled in the dark in classrooms.

While officers said the details made in a telephone call proved to be unfounded, they wouldn't say whether it was intended as a hoax known as SWATTING, which causes a large police presence to rush to a scene.

Campus police sent out an alert to students and staff about 3:45 p.m. Thursday. The lockdown was lifted about 7 p.m.

Officers never saw the person, but campus police initially said they received two separate reports of a woman with a long gun, possibly a shotgun. Police and Crime Prevention Officer at Johnson County Community College Dan Robles said about 5:15 p.m. that he only was aware of one report.

Robles said the woman was described as roughly 5'10" tall, white and with a ponytail. She was reported to have been wearing dark clothing, had a camouflage bag and was carrying a long gun, possibly a shotgun.

About 6 p.m. campus police announced that they were evacuating all buildings on campus and getting everyone off the premise.

They had 55-acres worth of buildings to search.

Overland Park police sent their standard emergency response team to the campus including an armored vehicle, and say this was not a drill.

Initially the buildings on lockdown were Carlsen Center, the general education building, the office and classroom building, the commons and the library. By 4:30 p.m., the entire building was placed on lockdown.

In a statement released Thursday night, the college talked about how they and police take reports such as these seriously.

"This evening JCCC Police received a report that a person had been spotted on campus with a weapon. Police take such reports very seriously. As a result, the campus was locked down as police checked rooms and spoke to the person who reported the situation. To ensure safety precautions, all evening classes were canceled."

"After searching the buildings, the police were not able to find anyone, and the lockdown was lifted a little after 7 p.m."

"'JCCC has never experienced such a situation before,' said JCCC president Joe Sopcich. 'We are proud of the way our JCCC Police Department responded to the initial report, and we'd like to thank the Overland Park Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, the Kansas Highway Patrol and MedAct for their very quick deployment on campus. We are grateful the situation ended well.'"

The campus is located at 12345 College Blvd. in South Overland Park.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School, which is nearby, was also placed on lockdown as a precaution, but it was lifted about 5:30 p.m.

KCTV5's Jonathan Carter and Betsy Webster contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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