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College in Maryland Sends False Warning About Gunman

The person who sent the alert was working on something else when they accidentally sent the message and sounded the alarm

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    After a string of similar false alarms across the country, a community college in Maryland falsely sent students and staff an alert on Wednesday warning about a gunman at the school.

    Montgomery College sent the alert to members of all three of the school's campuses, in Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park, school spokesman Marcus Rosano told News4. It went out at 1:04 p.m. 

    But there was no gunman or suspicious person, Rosano said.

    School officials knew "within seconds" that the alert was sent in error via text messages and social media, the spokesman said.

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    The message was a template for alerts about armed people on campus and included the phrase "insert place here."

    Officials sent an all-clear message five minutes later, at 1:09 p.m.

    The person who sent the alert was working on something else when they accidentally sent the message and sounded the alarm, Rosano said.

    The false alarm follows a number of similar false alarms, including a bogus tsunami alert that was sent just Tuesday to phones throughout the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

    Montgomery College introduced its college-wide alert system in September. At the time, school officials said they sought to have "communication capabilities among the best in the nation."

    Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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