Lockdown at Westfield State lifted following report of 'suspicio - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Lockdown at Westfield State lifted following report of 'suspicious man'

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A lockdown that had been issued at Westfield State University has been lifted.

Westfield State spokesperson Tricia Oliver said that the lockdown was lifted at 2:33 p.m. and an all-clear message was sent out to the campus community.

The university was placed on lockdown just after 12:45 p.m. after a report a suspicious man on-campus.

"The initial witness report and two others that followed indicated that the person in question to be a suspicious acting male, Caucasian, 5'8" tall, 200 pounds, strawberry blonde hair that was cut short with a comb-over style and receding hairline, approximately 40 years of age, wearing all black, a bulky vest and carrying a black, bulging backpack," said Westfield State Police Capt. Michael Foyle at an afternoon press conference.

Mass. State Police tweeted that they were called in to assist WSU Police.

Oliver noted that WSU and State Police did a building-by-building sweep and determined the campus to be safe.

State Police tweeted that the threat was determined to be unfounded.

Classes resumed at 3:10 p.m.  Campus activities will also resumed as scheduled.

State Police Major Michael Habel said at the press conference that that subject was reportedly seen walking behind some of the academic buildings.  He added that "there was never any contact made with that individual, so we do not know the level of that person's reason for being here or not."

"Obviously, the witnesses saw somebody.  What that person was up to, we don't know," Habel added.

Officials said that additional Mass. State Police troopers are on-campus as a precaution and additional patrols will be taking place.

The shuttle van service or a public safety escort is also available for those students that are concerned.  Those can be arranged by calling (413) 572-5262.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call (413) 579-3050.

Western Mass News has a crew at the scene and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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