UPDATE: IUPUI on alert for 4 hours following report of gunman - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: IUPUI on alert for 4 hours following report of gunman

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Photo Courtesy: FOX59 WXIN Photo Courtesy: FOX59 WXIN

IUPUI's Indianapolis campus spent more than 4 hours on Severe Alert Tuesday afternoon after reports came in of a possible gunman on campus.

The original alert came in at 12:55pm after multiple reports of a man carrying a "long gun" came to campus police.  Students were instructed to take shelter and remain where they were. 

The all clear was issued by IUPUI at around 5:10 Tuesday afternoon.

It did not say whether police ever found a gunman on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The message says the campus was returning to normal operations and that scheduled evening classes would be held.

ORIGINAL STORY: IUPUI is on severe alert following reports of a possible gunman on campus.

A couple of people called in to police saying they saw a tall white male carrying a "long gun" on campus.  Authorities are searching the campus right now, but have not located a suspect at this time.

IUPUI's website says the suspect was last seen in a lot near Barnhill and Vermont. That message was sent out at 12:55pm.  Anyone on campus is instructed to seek shelter until the all clear is given.

University spokeswoman Margie Smith-Simmons says campus police are "working diligently on this" and are trying to locate the man. She says entrances to buildings are locked and inaccessible to the public.

But buses were seen unloading students and people were freely entering and leaving buildings more than 30 minutes after the alert.

FOX59 out of Indianapolis reports that officers entered and searched IUPUI's School of Nursing, but it is unclear if they believe the alleged suspect is in the building.

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School is also placed on lockdown due to the incident.  School officials said students and staff at the high school are safe.

Classes resumed Monday on the approximately 30,000-student campus in downtown Indianapolis after spring break. It is the Indianapolis branch of Indiana and Purdue universities.

UPDATE @ 2:55pm: IUPUI just tweeted: Everyone is encouraged to stay where they are. But movement within a building is allowed if necessary. Be safe.

UPDATE @ 3:24pm: IU Emergency Management posted the following on Facebook: "Some media are reporting that a partial "All Clear" has been given for some buildings. That is not true. The entire campus is still under a shelter-in-place order. You do not have to rest against a wall with your hands over your head like a tornado shelter-in-place, but you do need to stay in a room that can be locked."

There is currently some confusion.  A student on campus told FOX28 News that he was let out of his building by a uniformed officer. 

The all clear is not given.  Students are to remain in a secure location.

UPDATE @ 3:31pm: Campus police Captain Bill Aston tells FOX59 in Indy that the initial report came from a student who said she saw a man with a gun at Barnhill and Vermont around 12:30 p.m. while she was going toward her car. She lost sight of the man, whom she described as tall.

Abston said investigators later received a report of a person matching the description at the nursing school. He said it was unclear if that person had a gun. A third report said a gunman had been spotted near Indiana and Blackford Street. Again, police were unable to locate anything.

Abston said police believed the reports were credible enough to investigate.

"We believe them, we respond to them, we investigate," he told reporters during the briefing.

In response to reports that some students were still walking around campus despite the alert, Abston said, "We've sent another alert. Basically, seek shelter. Call us if you see anything."

Abston acknowledged that police have searched several buildings and were still searching during the afternoon.

UPDATE @ 3:50pm: The following was posted on IUPUI's website a short while ago:

While we do not have any satisfying answers, I wanted to at least put out there what we do know as of 3:25pm on 3/19/2013. 

At 12:30pm, someone spotted a man get out of a car in Lot 59 at IUPUI, the lot to the southwest of the Vermont Barnhill intersection. The man was carrying a "long gun". He was later spotted elsewhere on campus, we'll get a breakdown of those reports after this all said and done. Since guns are banned from all IU campuses, unless you are taking them to be locked up by the PD while you are on campus, it is safe to assume one of two scenarios:

  •  
    • someone didn't know guns are banned on campus and is carried a gun onto campus
    • someone did know guns are banned on campus and chose to carry one onto campus anyway

That's what it boiled down to, either they are ignorant and carrying a gun or up to no good and carrying a gun. Every building is being actively searched, and that takes time. It is frustrating for everyone involved that the facts really haven't changed much after a few hours, but it is what it is. The good news is that there are no reports anything awful, and we hope it stays that way.

We also understand that the alert pointing people to iupui.edu/prepared, a site we don't update any more, added to the frustration. That's why I'm putting this here now. There's not a lot I can share with you, but I believe that what I'm sharing is definitive. If you have concerns or questions, feel free to tweet at us, @IUEMC, or head over to Facebook, facebook.com/IUEMC. Chances are good I'll be answering. We'll get through this crappy day, hopefully in one collective piece with no damage done, and we'll do it better next time (and we'll do it better than that the time after that).

UPDATE @ 5:06pm: Posted to IU Emergency Management Facebook page: "IUPUI Alert! All Clear is issued regarding the armed individual on campus. Normal campus operations are in effect. Scheduled evening classes are in effect."

The Associated Press Contributed to this story.

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