American University in Washington was on lockdown on Wednesday following reports of a man carrying a handgun near its campus, school officials said.
No shots were fired, an American University spokeswoman said, and the school instructed students, faculty and staff on campus to shelter in place. There were no immediate reports of people injured at the school, located about 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of the White House.
U.S. school administrators have been on high alert following a series of deadly shootings in recent years, including the February massacre of 17 students and educators at a Florida high school.
“While the initial report indicated that this person was not on the AU campus, out of an abundance of caution, the American University Police Department issued an AU Alert and directed that the campus be put on lockdown,” the school said in a statement.
University police said they were searching the campus building by building along with city police.
American University is located in the northwest corner of Washington, close to the border with Maryland.
Most students are away from U.S. college campuses during the summer holidays, but American University hosts several camps, as well as some summer classes, according to its website.
Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba O’Brien