Plastic Gun Sets Off Scare At Texas A&M on Day Of Bush Visit

Reports of a gunman on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station had the campus on alert this afternoon, before police determined that the suspect was carrying a replica weapon.

Reports of a gunman on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station had the campus on alert this afternoon, before police determined that the suspect was carrying a replica weapon.

Students and staff were told to be wary, and to gather at locations on the campus for safety. But the school did not go on full lockdown, reports TV station KBTX. Here's a summary of the events, via The American-Statesman:

A&M spokesman Jason Cook told the TV station that a bus driver spotted an armed individual and reported it to university police, who have set up a command center near Rudder Tower. According to reports, the College Station SWAT Team has been activated.

Police officials said the person was described is a white man with green shorts and a dark-colored T-shirt and a backpack, the Eagle reports. Officials said the suspect was reported carrying a AK-47-style weapon.

According to later reports, campus police determined that the suspect was carrying a plastic M-16 training rifle.

The event provided extra tension on the Texas A&M campus Thursday afternoon, when former President George H.W. Bush, his wife, Barbara, and former first lady Laura Bush were scheduled to visit the campus for the opening of a Heart Truth Red Dress exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library.

The alarm, which was in effect from 4 p.m. to just after 5:30 p.m., CT, came one month after a gunman opened fire in a library at the University of Texas in Austin. In that incident, sophomore Colton Tooley, 19, fired several rounds from an AK-47 before turning the weapon on himself. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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