North Dakota police sorry for threatening to shoot students after mistaking telescope for gun
Police officer aims gun at night in the dark (Shutterstock)

Police in North Dakota apologized to a pair of college students after mistaking their telescope for a gun.

Levi Joraanstad and Colin Waldera were setting up the telescope Monday night to take photographs of the moon when officers blinded them with a bright light and ordered them to stop moving, reported the Grand Forks Herald.

The North Dakota State students thought they were being pranked and continued digging into their bags until the officers threatened to shoot them.

"I was kind of fumbling around with my stuff and my roommate and I were kind of talking, we were kind of wondering, what the heck's going on? This is pretty dumb that these guys are doing this," Joraanstad said. "And then they started shouting to quit moving or we could be shot, and so at that moment we kind of look at each other and we're thinking we better take this seriously."

Joraanstad said the officers, who mistook the student's sweater for a tactical vest, were "apologetic" when they realized the students had a telescope, and not a gun.

Police said the students were never in any danger and defended the officers' threats as "better safe than sorry."