Fla. Student Arrested After Gunman Scare

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TAMPA, Fla. - The University of South Florida was locked down Monday after someone reported a man with a gun and a bomb near the library, and police had one person in custody.

There were no immediate reports of shots fired or injuries, and it was not clear whether the person in custody was tied to the original report and whether that report was real or a hoax.

Campus police said they asked the Tampa police bomb team to investigate the belongings of the person taken into custody. A second person reported to be carrying a knife on campus was detained Monday afternoon, but police said they believe that was unrelated.

The first call came in at 1:36 p.m. to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which transferred it to campus police.


tudents on campus were interrupted by a loud siren. An announcement over a loud speaker said there was an intruder and students should stay inside and lock their doors, said Amanda Barnes, an 18-year-old international studies major.

Administrators also sent several text messages to students.

"A lot of people were like, 'OK. I'm going to go up to my room, and no big deal,"' Barnes told The Associated Press. "A couple of people were like, 'Oh my God. I'm so scared."'

Another student, Hannah Quill, told the St. Petersburg Times she heard the loudspeaker message too.

"It sounded like one of those tornado alarms up north," she said. "Everyone is like in classrooms on lockdown. I saw quite a few police cars heading towards the front of campus."

Lt. Meg Ross, of the USF Police Department, said a man was taken into custody Monday afternoon after he stood up on a campus bus and stated that he was the person authorities were looking for. Police responded to the scene and were able to get him off the bus.

"As I understand it, he did respond to our commands," Ross said.

The man's name was not released, and Ross could not say if he was a student.

"We cannot determine as of yet whether it is the person we were looking for," she said. "He's being questioned and we're trying to determine that at this point."

At about 3:30 p.m., campus police also reported a man was seen on campus in a black tank top and cowboy hat, carrying a black puppy and a large hunting knife.

Ross said the man was being questioned, but that incident did not seem to be related to the earlier report of a man carrying a gun and a bomb.

Associated Press writers Michael Schneider in Orlando and Tamara Lush in Miami contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Christine Armario

Christine Armario

Associated Press Writer

The Associated Press is the backbone of the world's information system serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television and online customers with coverage in all media and news in all formats. It is the largest and oldest news organization in the world, serving as a source of news, photos, graphics, audio and video.