(AP Photo/ Sam Dean, The Roanoke Times)
Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten activated an alert system and ordered the school locked down after a member of the housekeeping staff reported seeing a young man walk into a residence hall with a handgun, Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt said at a news conference.
"Basically, he told the housekeeper not to say anything about it and he continued on," Hunt said.
There have been no reports of threats and no one on campus had been harmed, Hunt said at an afternoon news conference. Several men resembling the description of the man with the weapon were questioned but were not held, authorities said.
"No one has been hurt; no one is in a panic mode," Braaten said.
There were at least two other campus security scares Tuesday:
* In Fargo, N.D., classes were canceled in a downtown building used by North Dakota State University after a man with a gun was reported there. Fargo and university police said a 28-year-old suspect was later arrested a few blocks away on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon. Minnesota officials said the man had recently been released from prison, where he served time for robbery and burglary.
* In Decatur, Miss., a student was found shot to death in his dormitory room at East Central Community College, an apparent suicide, officials said. The shooting led to a brief lockdown before authorities determined there was not a security concern.