UPDATE: Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy says the man spotted with a rifle near the UTC campus Wednesday was an off-duty officer at the end of their shift heading home.

Roddy says the incident was a misunderstanding, but police responded with an abundance of caution working with UTC campus police. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sent an alert to students that there is a white male with blonde hair carrying a rifle walking toward campus. 

Another alert posted on the UTC website said the person was wearing a tactical vest.

Hamilton County Schools sent a statement via Facebook: "Brown Academy, Battle Academy and CSAS are taking extra precaution due to an alert from UTC about a possible disturbance in the area. Schools are taking extra precaution by keeping children inside until the situation is resolved. Parents are being notified by the schools."

An eyewitness says CPD officers were seen near Champy's on East MLK Boulevard with weapons drawn. 

Chattanooga Police Department spokesman Trevor Tomas says that CPD officers and UTC officers are in the area and talking with the reporting party. 


Social media added to the confusion Wednesday at UTC. Students and the community took to every platform with hundreds of posts.

Students were evacuated from buildings on the campus as police worked to find the person who prompted the alert sent campus-wide.