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Yale University lockdown lifted after suspected gunman hoax

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Police are investigating a possible hoax after reports were made of a gunman on the loose at Yale University.

The campus had been on lockdown for several hours before it was finally lifted at 4:40 p.m. ET.

New Haven police said a man called 911 from a pay phone one mile from the school at about 9:30 a.m. and warned that his roommate was heading to the campus to shoot people, an ABC News affiliate reported.

"All he really said was that his roommate was on his way to the university, to Yale University, to shoot people," said Officer David Hartman, a spokesman for the department.

Several witnesses later told police they saw someone with a rifle or shotgun on the loose, Officer Hartman said.

New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman described the caller as "a confused gentleman," USA Today reported.

"I wouldn't describe his words as clear and concise," he said at a news conference.

The university sounded the alarm for students in midmorning, sending out an announcement, USA Today reported: "Confirmed report of a person with gun on/near Old Campus. Shelter in place. This is NOT a test."

Authorities were seeking an "older white man, balding, in a heavy overcoat."

Linda Chang, 23, a former student who was near the campus, described the scene to The Huffington Post: "We're all kind of hiding out. I've heard a few sirens. ... They're keeping everything hush-hush."

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