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Chattanooga police say person at center of UTC campus search was off-duty officer

Kim Sebring and Meg Scarbrough, Times Free Press • Updated Aug 28, 2019 at 2:33 PM

CHATTANOOGA —Police say the person at the center of a campus search today was, in fact, an off-duty Chattanooga police officer heading home for the day.

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, police Chief David Roddy said an officer in full uniform had gathered items from their patrol car and was heading home to go to bed when someone on campus noticed the officer and mistakenly thought he was a threat.

Law enforcement officials closed down roads near the area and focused their search on Fletcher Hall — the Gary W. Rollins College of Business.

The building was evacuated and a sweep was conducted.

More about this developing story from the Times Free Press.

Reported earlier:

CHATTANOOGA — University of Tennessee-Chattanooga  authorities and Chattanooga police were searching for a man who was reportedly seen carrying a rifle toward campus on East Eighth Street, according to a tweet from the school.

Officials with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga said the man was described as white with blonde hair. In a post on the official UTC Facebook page, the suspect was described as wearing "a tactical-style vest."

Shawn Ryan, with UTC's communications department, said there was no indication of the armed man ever being on campus but that there were reports of a suspicious person inside Fletcher Hall.

More about this developing story from the Times Free Press.