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Report of a man in a ‘bad psychological state’ led to lockdown at William Peace University

Raleigh police officers (lower left) stand outside the Main Residence Hall on the campus of William Peace University after a suicide threat has led to a lockdown at William Peace University on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.
Raleigh police officers (lower left) stand outside the Main Residence Hall on the campus of William Peace University after a suicide threat has led to a lockdown at William Peace University on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

The lockdown at William Peace University on Monday was apparently the result of a 911 call about a 19-year-old man who was upset about a break-up and removed a gun from a safe inside a home.

Officials at the downtown Raleigh campus ordered students and staff to “shelter in place” Monday afternoon after receiving reports of a “possible gunman.”

A 911 call released Tuesday sheds light on what led to the lockdown.

Someone called 911 at about 12:30 p.m. Monday and said the 19-year-old retrieved a pistol from a gun safe in the garage of the caller’s Fuquay-Varina home.

“I hate this,” the caller told a dispatcher, going on to say the man was in “a pretty bad psychological state” because a romantic relationship ended last month.

The caller said the man might have been headed to William Peace University.

A woman at the Fuquay-Varina home was concerned about the man who arrived for a visit, the caller said.

“She said he hasn’t been responding to texts, but he showed up, went into the garage, said he was going to get some cleaning supplies and grab some other stuff,” the caller said.

The caller said the woman did not see the man remove a gun from the safe.

“I just drove back to the house and looked,” the man said. “It’s not there.”

The dispatcher called Raleigh police to report that someone armed with a gun might be headed to campus as a result of a domestic dispute.

The campus was under lockdown for about two hours. Raleigh police determined there was no gunman or threat.

“Campus officials, students and faculty responded quickly and appropriately to the potential threat to ensure the full safety of everyone on campus,” the university said in a statement Monday.

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