Illinois State University officials now say no gun was involved in today's incident that started on campus and spread to Uptown Normal. Earlier the campus was put on alert after a report indicated a man displayed a handgun on the campus' west side Tuesday afternoon around 3:20. Later, the supposed suspect was apprehended by Normal Police walking near the Uptown Station. ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff said in a release, "After interviewing the student and suspect, we determined the studentís original statement was based on the fear he might have access to a weapon, but she later admitted having never seen a weapon." ISU officials sent out mass emails, texts and web updates keeping students, faculty, staff and parents updated. Access to residence halls was restricted during about a one hour period beginning around 3:45.
"Illinois State is required by law to issue immediate notification regarding reports of weapons on or near campus," said University Chief of Staff Jay Groves. "While we know these types of communications can be disruptive, we are glad the incident ended in a safe manner.
During the supposed incident, ISU student Denise Consorti from Oak Forrest was among the many students trying to get to class when the alert was issued. She said the situation made her nervous.
"Yeah, kind of, I mean my friends are freaking out and they kind of freaked me out. Having the doors locked kind of freaked me out a little too, but I guess I gotta go to class."
Consorti was walking toward the quad with her friend, Terry Renn, a sophomore from Aurora.
"I'm nervous about it but I didn't know if I should go to class or not, but then I saw her and I was like, we can walk to class together."
Access to residence halls at ISU was restricted for about an hour.
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