UVA-Wise campus put on lockdown by school police

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, in far southwestern Virginia, was put on lockdown for about two hours Wednesday night after a student reported seeing a gunman. The student later told investigators that the incident was a hoax, Virginia State police said.

The student called 911 shortly before 9 p.m. and told authorities he saw a man with a gun on campus, said Corinne Geller, a state police spokeswoman. School police and other law enforcement officials from the area responded to the scene and shut down the campus, near the Kentucky border.

According to messages on the school’s website, the lockdown began at 9:28 p.m., and urged students to “find a safe place and stay put.”

Officers searched all the campus’s buildings while special agents with State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations interviewed the student who reported the incident. During that interview, the student confessed that the report was false, and the lockdown was lifted about 11 p.m. Geller said.

State police continue to investigate the motive for the hoax, Geller said.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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