Florida Man Carrying Toy Rifle Sparked Three College Campus Lockdowns, Police Say

A security alert which resulted in three college campuses in Florida going on lockdown was later revealed to be a false alarm involving a brightly colored toy gun.

An alarm was raised after a student at Florida Atlantic University reported seeing a man with a rifle on campus on the evening of Thursday, October 3. The student said the man walked towards her whilst she was in her car and pointed a gun at her.

"A little bit after 9 p.m., we received a call from a female that was a student over at FAU leaving campus for the night," Davie Police Lt. Mark Leone said, reports WSNV.

"She said that as she was pulling out of the parking lot, she saw a man standing on the outside of the parking lot, over in the grassy swale area, holding what she believed was a rifle.

"She was at the stop sign. She said the man raised the rifle in the air and started walking towards her car," Leone added. "As he was pointing the rifle towards her car, she sped off and got out of the area."

On Friday, the 911 call given by the student was made public.

"I don't know if it was a real gun or not, but he kept pointing it at my car," she said. "I literally sped off as fast as I could just because I was going out, and he first pointed it up at the sky."

As a precaution, the campuses at Florida Atlantic University, Broward College and Nova Southeastern University all went into lockdown. The colleges warned students and other people who may be on campus to seek shelter in a secure location on social media.

F.A.U ALERT (#1): Police Activity on Davie campus at 09:36pm on 10/3/2019. Remain alert. Seek shelter in secure location. Follow police instructions

— Florida Atlantic (@FloridaAtlantic) October 4, 2019

BC Alert: Central Campus - Shelter in place. The campus is on lockdown due to police activity in the area. Please await further instructions.

— Broward College (@BrowardCollege) October 4, 2019

Later on that night, it was confirmed that the lockdown has been cleared as the incident was ruled a false alarm.

"The police activity occurring at the Broward College baseball fields near the Davie campus has ended as of 11:18PM 10/3/19. All Clear," Florida Atlantic University wrote on social media.

In the early hours of Friday, the Davie Police Department tweeted a picture of a toy gun which had been confiscated by a man seen in the area.

"After clearing the scene at the #Davie college area. A #DaviePolice officer located an individual with this toy gun walking on Stirling Rd," the force tweeted. "They both matched the description given by the witness. The toy gun was collected and the investigation was turned over to detectives."

The man in his 60s was questioned by police but not arrested.

toy gun
Davie Police later found a man holding a toy gun near to the Florida campus. Davie Police Department