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September 26, 2007
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Man arrested with rifle at St. John's University

The Associated Press

QUEENS, N.Y. A man with a rifle in a bag was apprehended on the campus of St. John's University Wednesday, but no injuries were reported.

Public safety officials disarmed the suspect and turned him over to police, according to a school statement. Police were conducting an extensive search of all buildings and facilities.

Students were told stay inside their classrooms and buildings until further notice. Classes on the Queens campus were canceled for the evening.

Kevin Su, a student on the Queens campus, said he was notified of the incident because of an emergency call system in place at the school. Students received text and phone messages beginning around 2:30 p.m., he said.

"People are nervous, almost everyone is on their cell phones calling parents, and letting friends know not to come to campus," said Su, 22, an editor of the student newspaper.

Su said students were ushered into buildings that were staffed with security guards and told to stay put. He said there wasn't much discussion of whether there were similarities between the incident Wednesday and the April 16 rampage on the campus of Virginia Tech where a student gunman killed 32 people before killing himself.

"I think it's basically on everyone's mind. It doesn't need to be said outright," he said.

St. John's is a Catholic university of about 20,000 students with three residential campuses in New York.

Copyright 2007 Newsday

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