Umbrella, Not Rifle, Spotted on CSU San Marcos

Cal State University San Marcos was on lockdown after report of person with long gun on campus

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A rifle spotted on the Cal State San Marcos campus Wednesday turned out to be a large umbrella inside a carrying case. Although it was a false alarm, the university’s alert system went into effect. NBC 7’s Sherene Tagharobi explains how well it worked. (Published Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014)

A report of man carrying a rifle on the campus of Cal State University San Marcos prompted a campuswide lockdown and search by local law enforcement officials Wednesday.

Officials told NBC 7 they determined the man involved was carrying an umbrella, not a rifle.

The initial report described a bald man carrying a rifle on the campus north of San Diego just before 9 a.m., San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies said.

Campus police put the university on lockdown and began a security sweep. After searching for 30 minutes, no suspect was found, no shots were fired and no one was injured.

Students React to Umbrella Threat at CSU San Marcos

[DGO] Students React to Umbrella Threat at CSU San Marcos
NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports on the threat at Cal State San Marcos that came in as a man with a rifle but ended up being a man with an umbrella over his shoulder. (Published Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014)

Just after 8 a.m., CSUSM police tweeted that anyone on campus should shelter in place and barricade. By 9:45 a.m., an all clear was given over the loudspeakers on campus.

Officials said the man involved in the intitial report was carrying an umbrella on the campus because of an unusual winterlike storm that swept the county.

School was not in session according to a school spokesperson. Orientation was scheduled for Wednesday. Fall semester will begin August 25.

Some students who were working on campus Wednesday had just been trained the day prior for the possibility of an active shooter on campus.

“Even though there wasn’t a shooting or anything there is a very relieving feeling to know you’re safe,” said Stephen Carrier.

“It’s definitely scary knowing someone could be around the corner, you know, with a gun,” said Lane Giammalva. “You just have to remain calm, protect yourself and protect the people next to you.” 

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