Danbury police and state police responded to Western Connecticut State University to investigate reports of a person with a gun, but school officials said it turned out to be an employee with a microphone stand and the scene is clear.
Officials from WCSU said there was a report of a person with a gun at White Hall on the Midtown campus and many people were evacuated while others were told to shelter in place in the building and throughout the campus.
Crews on the WCSU campus did a floor-by-floor search of the building and apprehended someone, but that person did not have a weapon and did not match the description provided, school officials said, and they continued to search.
Officials said the alleged gun carrier was actually a university employee who was preparing to provide audio and media support for a campus graduation. He was never taken into custody.
Mayor Mark Boughton said although the incident was a false alarm, officials are grateful to the people who reported their concerns.
“You can never be cautious enough. At the end of the day, if we didn’t take the appropriate precautions, if this was part of a larger plan to disrupt our school system and hurt our children, people would criticize us for not doing enough,” Boughton said.
The mayor added that the man was interviewed and then released once the situation was explained.
“He even readily admits look it looks like a gun. I can see how this could have happened. He passed the two other instructors going in. He had sunglasses on. They didn’t realize he was an instructor,” Boughton said.
Several public schools in Danbury were placed on lockdown. Those schools include Broadview Middle School, Alternative Center For Excellence, Ellsworth Avenue School, Hayestown Elementary School, Adult Education Program and the Sites and Facilities Building, according to Danbury’s deputy school superintendent, Dr. William Glass.
All other schools were in a “shelter in place” mode, Glass said.
State police were also called in.
The all-clear was given at 2:05 p.m. and the school has returned to regular operations.