Rave Alert Used to Notify 50,000 Students of Potential Gunman at Universty of South Florida


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No suspect was found after a person called the Hillsborough County Crisis Center threatening to use a gun on the University of South Florida, Tampa campus. It’s located at 4202 E. Fowler Avenue.

USF sent out a text alert about a gunman on its campus after receiving the call at about 12:15 p.m. 50,000 people in and around the University have signed up for those alerts. The university went into lockdown mode, but the all-clear was given at about 2 p.m. School activities have returned to normal.

USF’s web site reported the gunman was on campus in lot 2, near the bioscience building.

Campus police, the Tampa Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol responded to the scene. Perimeters were set up and a sweep of the area was made, but no gunman was found.

School spokeswoman Lara Wade says no shots were fired. Major J.D. Withrow, the Assistant Chief of Police for USF says no one on campus even spotted a gunman. He says his officers were on scene within minutes though. They swept the building and the parking lot but found nothing.

Jon Catuccio, who works at the school, says the alert came on a loudspeaker and said a gunman had been reported at the bioscience building in the heart of campus and people should stay inside.

He says he got an e-mail with the same information and everyone was “kind of hanging out” and waiting to see what happens.

This is the second time in as many months that a gunman was reported on USF’s campus. No suspects were found when a gunman was reported back in June.

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