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Virginia Tech Lifts Alert, After Earlier Report Of Gunman

Update at 2:57 p.m. ET. University Lifts Alert:

Virginia Tech has lifted an alert that had the campus on lockdown for hours, after police received reports of a gunman. In an update on its website, the university said police searched the large campus and had "not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning."

Our Original Post:

Virginia Tech was put on lockdown earlier this morning after police received a report that a man was walking around campus with what looked like a handgun "covered by a cloth of some sort."

The university in Blacksburg, Virginia was the site of a 2007 shooting rampage. Officials issued a warning and told students to lock doors and stay inside.

The university put out an updated alert, saying officers responded to the scene immediately, but found no suspects:

Police have encountered no other witnesses reporting this individual or anything suspicious. Law enforcement officers from VTPD, Blacksburg PD, Christiansburg, PD, and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office are patrolling the campus, continuing to look for the subject.

Update at 1:33 p.m. ET. Campus Still On Lockdown:

Virginia Tech shortly after 1 p.m. The school says police are still combing through the campus and that it "will be a long process." They said classes have been cancelled for the rest of the day and that "there have been no further sightings or reports."

The AP adds that the initial report of a gunman was deemed credible and came from three children visiting the school for a camp. The AP talked to one student about the situation:

Maddie Potter, a 19-year-old rising sophomore from Virginia Beach, said she was working on a class project inside Burchard Hall when a friend received a text message from the school at 9:41 a.m.

Soon after, staff locked the doors and turned off the lights. Potter, an interior design major, said she was still holed up in a wood shop inside the building Thursday afternoon. She said things had calmed down since the alert went out.

"I was pretty anxious. We had family friends who were up here when the shooting took place in 2007, so it was kind of surreal," she said. "I had my phone with me and I called both my parents."

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.