- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (AP) - A shelter-in-place order was lifted at a Massachusetts college after authorities determined there wasn’t a suspicious person dressed as a clown and possibly armed with a rifle on campus.

Merrimack College had issued the order Monday night after police received reports of the person. Andover and North Andover police both reported finding no clown and no weapons.

School officials say one residence hall was briefly evacuated and searched but nothing suspicious was found. Students were allowed back into the hall about 30 minutes after the initial alert was issued.

College spokesman Jim Chavelli says someone saw the school listed on a “Clown Watch” list on social media and alerted campus officials.

The incident comes after several recent reports nationwide of people having frightening encounters involving clowns.

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