But the lockdown was lifted when it was discovered the student only had a cellphone in his pocket.
“He was not a threat and never posed a threat to the community,” reads a release from Kennesaw State police.
In fact, the student apparently had no idea he had caused the lockdown and was participating in it himself when found.
“I think he was oblivous to the fact he was the person of interest,” said David Arnold, assistant vice president of strategic communication and marketing at KSU.
A phone call alerted police to the possibility of a gunman, and the campus was shut down soon after as a precaution. Arlen did not know who made the phone call but said it was not believed to be a prank.
Students were sent a text message during the lockdown advising them of a “possible armed man on Campus Green. … Shelter and lock the door.” Sirens also went off, signaling the shutdown.
Standing at a bus stop near the Campus Green not long after the standoff ended, 20-year-old biology major Andre Berry recalled what he was hearing during the situation.
“There was a man at the commons getting agitated,” he said. “People ran from him and contacted authorities. Whatever he did caused fear.”
Many students kept up on the situation by checking social media sites on their phones and computers during the lockdown, not sure what to think. In the end, things ended calmly and the campus looked to be back to normal by late Friday afternoon.
Live video from a WSB-TV helicopter showed multiple police officers walking around campus and barricades blocking some roads during the lockdown.
Hayleck Becker was at Kennesaw Hall on the east end of the Campus Green. She didn’t intent to stay long but ended up trapped there since the campus shut down.
Even though no weapons were found, she thought police handled the situation the right way.
“I’d rather them be overcautious like that,” she said. “They were obviously not ready when we had that snowstorm and I was stuck on campus. I’d rather them take the precautions they did instead of taking a chance of someone getting hurt. A gun would equal death.”
Arnold agreed the situation was handled correctly.
“I’d say it was an appropriate response and I think the loved ones and family members of our students would also say it was appropriate,” Arnold said.