A possible sighting of a man with a rifle near Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon on Tuesday morning turned out to be just unusual apparel and an unseasonable accessory.
Responding UO and Eugene police found a man walking with an umbrella, not a rifle; and wearing hospital scrubs, but not posing a threat.
At 7:22 a.m., a UO athletics staff member saw a man south of Autzen Stadium, wearing what he described as doctor’s garb, walking erratically and carrying an object that looked like a rifle. The staff member immediately shared the information on a radio channel used by athletics and monitored by UOPD dispatch, and advised his colleagues to take cover. Dispatch immediately sent UOPD officers to the scene, and notified 9-1-1 to send Eugene Police.
UOPD officers arrived at 7:25 a.m., and located a man matching the description near the Cuthbert Amphitheater. They briefly questioned him, searched him for weapons, determined he posed no threat, and released him.
Text and e-mail alerts were sent by the UO to students and employees at 7:33 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., warning them of the sighting and to stay away from the Autzen area. An "all clear" message came out at 7:46 a.m.
UOPD always encourages employees, students, and citizens to share any suspicious or concerning information immediately for response and investigation, as happened in this case.