Light stand was mistaken for long gun and sparked last month’s lockdown at Western Connecticut State University: Officials

DANDBURY —  A lockdown at Western Connecticut State University last month was sparked by the caller mistaking a light stand for a long gun according to officials.

On November 20, a campus wide alert issued by the school said, “Report of person with a gun in the VPA building. Shelter in place if you are on the Westside campus.” The VPA is the Visual & Performing Arts Building. Classes were ongoing in the VPA building when the report was made.

Officials said a student saw a person with a long gun near the arts center and reported it to authorities.

Dr. John B. Clark, President of Western Connecticut State University said in a report on the incident, “Security cameras in the building captured photos of a professor and later a student who carried this piece of equipment under their arms as they walked down the hallway next to the classroom where a student called 911 to report seeing a man with a gun.”

“After examining the photos, the eyewitness and supporting witnesses who had been in the classroom acknowledged that the tripod-like light stand, and the student carrying the stand with a shoulder-slung book bag, matched the description from the 911 call. This was corroborated by additional witness accounts.”

Clark also said, ” I want to recognize and applaud the actions of the student who made the 911 call.  This student took the exact, right action and we should all be thankful and congratulate this student.  This student’s quick and correct action is an example to us all and in an actual emergency could have saved countless lives.”