Pellet gun-wielding man prompts lockdown at Galveston College

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There was a big security scare at Galveston College Tuesday afternoon after a man was seen on security video near student housing holding and aiming a long gun. That surveillance video triggered a lockdown.

"I walked around the corner to throw something away and I saw him set up with a gun, so I just went back," said Morgan Schultz.

She saw the man lying on the ground next to the student apartment building where she and her friends live. She said his weapon looked like a rifle, but she couldn't be sure.

By the time she'd seen the man, a maintenance worker had already seen him on security video. The college's head of security got on the campus P.A. system to announce a lockdown and the school sent out emergency alerts.

"When I was trying to find the number for security, the cops had already shown up. So I guess it was already a big thing that everybody already knew about," Schultz said.

It was originally reported as a man possibly sleeping next to student housing with a rifle and the campus was placed on lockdown. A sheriff's deputy working campus security showed up and took him into custody.

"I was in my apartment and my roommate had texted me to come up because they were looking from up there, and we all came out and I saw the guy being held at gunpoint by the officer," said Leah Johnson.

The lockdown was over in less than 15 minutes.

The sheriff told Eyewitness News it wasn't a rifle after all -- it was a pellet gun. The man had set up a target outside the gate to his home through the alleyway, something these students said he's done before.

"When we had seen him before and we saw the target, we heard it," Schultz said. "We didn't see him shoot, but we heard...It was like a 'tink,' so we figured it was kind of like a BB gun or something like that."

"I think it's good they acted the way they did in case it could've been something more severe," Johnson added.

The sheriff said because he was on Galveston College property, the unidentified man was given a criminal trespass warning.

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