Much of the University of Minnesota‘s West Bank campus was put on alert Monday afternoon after reports of an attempted robbery.
According to accounts by university spokespeople, a man walked into Anderson Hall and approached a female student who was sitting in the hallway studying.
He brandished a gun and demanded that she give him her laptop. He then grabbed a backpack that turned out to be empty.
The student screamed, and the man fled into the West Bank tunnel system. The school says the man never fired the gun.
Campus police searched the tunnel system, and the U sent out a text alert around 3:15 p.m. telling people to seek shelter.
Freshman Tyler Dallum,18, was in class in Anderson Hall when he and other students received a text from the U telling them to shelter in place.
“We shut off all the lights and we all had to go to the front of the classroom and be quiet. We had to huddle up just hope for the best.” Dallum said.
After campus police couldn’t find the suspect, the U issued an alert around 4:10 p.m. saying the search had been called off.
Campus spokespeople said U police believed the man had fled the campus, and that he had not been sighted on the East Campus.
All regular classes and campus activities were to resume as scheduled.
University police remain on alert. Officials there described the man as an African-American male about 20 years old, six feet tall and wearing a black puffy hooded jacket.
People are asked to call 911 if the suspect is seen.