Johnson County Community College announced there was no viable threat and classes will resume Friday after the campus was locked down for several hours Thursday.
The lockdown was imposed after someone reported seeing a woman on campus carrying a long gun, possibly a shotgun.
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School nearby was also on lockdown as a precaution.
The report was of a female on the JCCC campus with some sort of a gun came shortly after 3 p.m. She was described as about 5-feet-10-inches with a ponytail wearing dark clothing.
The call came from the student commons area, but the campus went on full lockdown and canceled all remaining classes for the day.
By 5:30 p.m. people were being allowed to leave campus but police were checking cars and trunks.
By 6 p.m. campus police said they had searched 10 of approximately 60 buildings in the 50-acre complex on College Boulevard and had not found a person matching the description. Police also were reviewing surveillance video.
Overland Park police, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol were assisting campus police.
“We don’t know if it’s a valid call or some type of hoax but we can’t take a chance,” said Overland Park Police spokesman Gary Mason.
Kyle Blackman, a 20-year-old JCCC student, was standing across College Avenue to the north of the campus. He said he had talked with a female roommate who was inside the library and told him about the lockdown.
He also had seen texts from the college.
“You just don't expect to get a lockdown alert from your school,” he said. “Sadly enough, this is what is going on in this country. I wish it weren't.”
JCCC student Miriam Ndegwa said she was in a restroom when a police officer came in and said he was looking for a blonde woman with a gun. Was she scared?
“Of course,” Ndegwa said.
She said she killed time during the lockdown by watching news reports.
Kirsten Sakido, whose daughter attends JCCC, said she was at work when she heard about the lockdown. Before she could call her daughter, her daughter texted her: “Don't worry, I'm alive.”
Sakido was one of many anxious parents waiting across the street from the campus.
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