PORTLAND, Ore. - Students at Lewis & Clark College got a scare Wednesday morning when campus officials notified them that a student was on campus with an ammunition belt and ammunition.
But it later turned out that the belt was made of spent ammunition and was just a fashion statement and not dangerous.
The student was not named by campus officials. He won't likely face charges but reportedly received a "stern talking to" from campus administrators.
"No one was ever in any danger, but we were very concerned that someone might be in danger," said college President Dr. Thomas John Hochstettler in an interview.
Given the Virginia Tech shootings, campus safety officers handled the situation "with extreme earnestness," Hochstettler wrote in a follow-up e-mail to staff and students.
"(The shootings) have brought home to us with grim ferocity the harsh truth that senseless violence can strike anywhere and at any time, even on a college campus," he told KATU News.
The incident began shortly after 9 a.m. when a staff member saw a white male get out of a car wearing an ammunition belt on the Fir Acres campus.
Campus security immediately started searching the campus, and the school's administration put the Portland Police Bureau on standby while preparing to lock down the campus.
An e-mail sent out to every student and staff e-mail account by the school's Office of the Provost described the ammunition belt appearing to "hold approximately 50 rounds of live ammunition." Students, who received the e-mail shortly after 10 a.m., were told to stay in their current locations until they received further notice via e-mail. They were also told not to confront the man.
About 10 minutes later, students received a follow-up e-mail stating that the person of interest was apprehended and the decorative ammunition belt was confiscated.
"Please go about your business," the e-mail said.
Many students didn't get the e-mails, however, because they were not in front of their computers.
Administrators said they did not need to take the drastic step of locking down the campus because the student was located quickly.