The lockdown over a “potential for violence” at a University of North Texas campus in Fort Worth was lifted Wednesday afternoon after officials said a person thought to be carrying a weapon was found actually to have camera equipment.
The school’s Health Science Center, in the 3500 block of Camp Bowie Boulevard, announced the lockdown about 12:40 p.m.
Police said they identified a “person of interest” about 2:15 p.m., but that there was no active threat to the campus. The university said students and staff could “return to normal activities.”
At a news conference a short time later, Ruth Roman, the center’s chief operating officer, said what was initially believed to be a weapon was actually camera equipment. She did not specify what type of equipment the person had.
“We take the safety of our entire campus, our students, our faculty, our staff, the community at large extremely seriously, and that is why we move quickly when we get these kinds of reports to ensure the safety of our community at large,” Roman said.
RED ALERT from H S C. The emergency condition is over. Return to normal activities
— HSC Fort Worth (@UNTHSC) November 16, 2022
Fort Worth police initially said they were helping UNT police with “a possible person with a weapon on campus.” A police call log shows the department was notified of the incident just before 12:40 p.m.
Footage from a news helicopter showed at least two dozen law-enforcement vehicles lining nearby streets, and multiple officers with ballistic shields, helmets and rifles were seen standing on the sidewalk.
In a prepared statement, UNT Chancellor Michael R. Williams thanked students, faculty and staff for their cooperation and patience, adding that “all threats to any and all of our campuses are taken seriously.”
The Health Science Center, west of downtown Fort Worth, is an academic medical center that “provides patient-centered care” to people in Tarrant County, according to the university’s website. The medical school enrolls about 2,500 students and has roughly 1,400 faculty and staff.
The safety alert noted the activity was near the campus’ Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building, which houses research laboratories, classrooms and other shared spaces for students.
Staff writer Noor Adatia contributed to this report.