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American U. president explains lockdown decision

Thursday - 12/12/2013, 10:30pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The president of American University is explaining a decision to place the school on lockdown amid concerns of a gunman on campus.

President Neil Kerwin says in a statement to the university community that the lockdown Wednesday night was "tense, disruptive and disconcerting," especially with students preparing for finals. But he says the university must respond to every potential threat.

AU officials ordered students to shelter in place after a passenger on a university shuttle bus reported seeing a fellow rider with what appeared to be a holstered gun inside his jacket. The passenger took a photograph, which the school distributed online. The man was later identified as an off-duty D.C. police officer.

Kerwin says the lockdown lasted approximately two hours and that the school regularly updated students and parents.

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