TIMELINE: How Wednesday unfolded at UTC during alert
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sent an alert to students Wednesday about a man carrying a rifle and wearing a tactical vest walking near the campus.
Chattanooga Cheif of Police David Roddy explained later in the day at a media briefing that the person was actually an off-duty Chattanooga police officer, removing his gear from his vehicle.
Here's how the events of the day unfolded:
11:30 AM -The first alert was sent saying police were searching for a white male with blonde hair who was reportedly carrying a rifle and wearing tactical gear.
Social media can be a tool used to spread information, but students at UTC say there were a lot of rumors going around... and none of them were true.
But, it's the spread of speculation and rumors that really had students concerned.
Joy Wolinski, a student at UTC, said people were saying on social media that there were hostages being held, which was not true.
“That takes into account Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook. You know something like this happens immediately everybody’s jumping on there, jumping onto the news going to Snapchat posting screenshots of the text messages" said Wolinski.
NOON - The second alert was sent saying the investigation was focusing on Fletcher Hall.
Activity on campus came to a halt as officers in tactical gear zeroed in on Fletcher Hall.
Students in Fletcher Hall say they went into lockdown, professors locked doors and students went into hiding.
Police then escorted them out as they cleared the building.
"We had last reports of the suspect, if you will, was last seen outside Fletcher Hall. Knowing that’s not a residence, officers moved into the area and just did basically a search to make sure there wasn’t a threat. Is there was an individual then made sure we got in there to address what was going on."
1:30 PM - Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy spoke to Channel 3 on the scene and told us the issue was resolved.
Police say the man students reported seeing was an off duty Chattanooga Police Officer who had just gotten off work and was heading home.
The scare was very real for both students and parents.
Trudy Beck was home in Cleveland, TN, when her son who is a freshman at UTC, sent her an alarming text.
“When your son sends you a message and says there's a shooter on campus, what do you think? I never thought I would've gotten that,” she said.
Beck says she immediately jumped in the car and rushed to campus.
“I'm like I'll be there. I'm coming down and he said mom I don't want you to come down here. I don't want you to get shot and I'm like I want to make sure you're okay.”
We sat with Beck for a few minutes when she first arrived outside of the campus library. That’s where her son was being held by his professors. Together we watched as officers and deputies carrying guns in tactical gear blocked off roads.
“I'll be sitting here waiting on him; give him a hug,” Beck shared.
That's exactly what she did when her son rushed across the street, into her arms.