Five hours after it began, the search for a man with a rifle inside the University of Arizona administration building Friday was over. No gunman was found.
Those who evacuated the building could then rest assured that they had been in no danger. But at the time that it all started, all they could do was follow the UAlert text message that they received.
"All of a sudden, we got a text that said there was a man with a rifle that was seen entering the building and to go into lockdown. And so we literally locked the door, everybody went into their offices and we waited to hear more from police," said state representative Ethan Orr (R-Tucson), who was in the administration building to talk to U of A officials on legislative business.
Orr said that they waited in the building about an hour while University of Arizona Police and Tucson Police secured both the administration and modern language buildings.
"Every noise, you don't know whether it's the police clearing the floor, if it's the gunman, or if it's just the building settling. And so, all we could do was relax and trust the police had the situation in hand, and, just relax," Orr said.
When they received another text to evacuate the building, Orr and others left the third floor by using the stairs. They did not know if they would run across a man with a rifle.
"You know, I was wondering that, but I'll tell you, I felt very secure again with the police response, but you know that they're taking it seriously and you feel like it's a serious situation any time you're walking by armed police officers with their guns drawn," Orr said.
The police searched the seven-floor administration building but did not find anyone with a rifle. No injuries were reported in the evacuation.
Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
7831 N. Business Park Drive