Recruit Mistaken for Gunman in Polsky Building

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AKRON, Ohio — It turns out a police academy recruit was mistaken for a possible gunman Thursday at the University of Akron, prompting the school to evacuate the Polsky Building.

A woman called police around 5 p.m. saying she saw a man with a gun and wearing camouflage inside the building on the edge of campus.

University of Akron police evacuated the building and searched it, but didn’t find anything suspicious. The “all clear” was given about 90 minutes later.

In a release issued Friday, the University of Akron said its officers concluded the person spotted Thursday was a recruit studying in Summit College’s Police Academy. The student was returning from an exercise and was carrying training equipment, which included a plastic gun.

Officials said the student has apologized for the accidental oversight, and the commander of the academy said he will review with all students the proper protocol for transporting training equipment on campus.

The student will not be charged, according to the release.

University of Akron Police Chief Paul Callahan also commended the student who called police with the tip.

“She did everything right,” Callahan said. “She noticed something unusual and she called us, and that’s what we want. Sometimes people are hesitant to call. Don’t be, because often the tips we receive help us make this campus even safer.”

For more on the evacuation, click here.