University of Rhode Island Reports Possible Gunman, Goes Into Lockdown

The University of Rhode Island campus went into lockdown mode early Thursday afternoon after unconfirmed reports indicated that a gunman was on campus.

"It's just a threat we have right now," a university police dispatcher said about the possible gunman, according to The Boston Globe.

"We have no confirmation of anything," the police dispatcher added.

Police are currently investigating reports that a gunman was possibly spotted near the South Kingstown campus's Chafee Hall, where classes on psychology, economics, and journalism are taught.

The building also houses some university administrative offices, according to The Associated Press.

According to Fox News, Chafee Hall has been evacuated, and the rest of the campus remains on lockdown, with students told to remain in their classrooms as police scour the area for any suspicious activity.

"Precautions remain in place. No injuries reported. Stay indoors until further notice," the university said on Twitter around 1:45 p.m. EST.

The university also gave students instructions via its Facebook page, writing:

"We are continuing to investigate reports of a man with a gun in or around Chafee Hall on the Kingston Campus. Secure yourself indoors, stay there, and do not move about outside until further notice."

The local police department was notified of the possible gunman after receiving a 911 call around 11:30 a.m. EST, R.I. State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell told

Varying unconfirmed reports from students to indicate that possibly a professor told a class in Chafee Hall to evacuate the building after a student produced a gun, but these reports have not been verified.

The school, located in Kingstown, R.I., has an enrollment of nearly 15,000 students and is classified by the US News and World Report as a tier 1 national public research university.