Bowling Green Police officers lock down the campus of Western Kentucky University after reports of gunfire, in Bowling Green, Ky. According to the university Web site, police searched the South Campus building but were not able to find any people with guns or witnesses who could confirm the reports. (AP Photo)
Ky. campus on lockdown after 'shots fired' report
By Juanita Cousins
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University was locked down for about three hours Wednesday after reports of gunmen on campus, but officials said they could find no evidence that shots had been fired or that anyone had a weapon.
Someone reported seeing people with weapons in a building on a satellite campus and police later received reports that shots had been fired on the main campus, a mile away.
Police searched a South Campus building but did not find any people with guns or witnesses who could confirm those reports.
Shortly before 1 p.m., the university sent a text message warning students to seek shelter after reports of shots fired in or near Pearce Ford Tower residence hall, on the school's main campus, though those reports were also unconfirmed.
Officials said there was some type of fight in or near the residence hall, though it did not involve weapons.
"We did have a fight and initial reports were that a weapon was involved but that has not been confirmed," said Bob Skipper, director of media relations for the school about an hour north of Nashville, Tenn. "We actually had reports of three different fights, one on our south campus about a mile from our main campus."
He said he did not know whether the fights were connected. Spokeswoman Robbin Taylor said four people were being questioned by police but no charges had been filed.
No injuries were reported.
The campus emergency warning system was activated and students and employees were told to remain indoors. An "all clear" was issued around 4 p.m. Classes were canceled for the rest of Wednesday.
Alex Wood, 18, a freshman from Brentwood, Tenn., was ordering food in the Red Zone restaurant on campus when one of her friends received a text message alert.
"We're watching the news when it does come on," she said by cell phone from the restaurant, where students were told to stay put during the lockdown. "It's a little scary. I feel very safe where I am."
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The university, which has about 16,500 undergraduates, is on a hill in Bowling Green. Its students and sports teams are known as Hilltoppers.