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Cop Escorting Group of Exchange Teenagers in Princeton Art Museum Sparks Campus Gun Scare

Social media erupted with concern after a red banner on Princeton University's website warned of a report of a person with a gun on campus

What to Know

  • A red banner was posted on Princeton's website at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday warning of a report with a person with a gun
  • The university ordered a shelter in place, but minutes later, it was lifted, saying an "all-clear" had been given and there was no threat
  • No one was hurt, and school officials say a cop escorting exchange teens on a tour of the art museum sparked the brief scare

An armed police officer escorting a group of teenagers on a tour of the Princeton University Art Museum galleries sparked a brief panic on the Ivy League campus Tuesday, as the college warned everyone to shelter in place and lock their doors as authorities investigated a report of a person with a gun.

Security personnel spotted the armed individual in the museum shortly before noon. School officials initially said the officer was privately hired by a family touring the museum's galleries, but later said the cop was escorting a group of teens who were on an exchange program. 

"The officer, who was wearing a badge but was not in uniform, was carrying the gun in a holster. The gun was never removed from the holster," the school said in a statement on its website. "The officer, who did not alert museum staff to his presence in advance, is cooperating with officers who responded to the incident."

No one was injured, but social media erupted with concern after a red banner on the school's website warned of a report of a person with a gun on campus. Shortly after posting the alert, the university said there was no threat.

The banner, which went up on the Princeton website at 11:55 a.m., said anyone in the vicinity should lock their doors and shelter in place. The university also tweeted that there was a report of a person with a "weapon" on the campus.

A follow-up tweet about five minutes later said "an ALL-CLEAR has been issued by Public Safety. There is no threat. Normal activities can resume." The initial tweet was later deleted and the shelter-in-place order was in effect for about 10 minutes, the school said.

According to the school calendar, students are not set to move in for the fall semester until Sept. 2. 

No one at the school answered the phone when NBC 4 New York called Tuesday.

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