By Diana Rocco and Justin Udo

ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Authorities now say a BB gun caused a weapon scare at Penn State University’s Abington Campus on Thursday.

Police swarmed the area of Penn State University – Abington Campus Thursday afternoon after someone called 911 to report seeing a man with a rifle on campus.

“Police responded, school administration immediately put the school on lockdown as according to their protocol, we began to search for the potential suspects,” Abington police chief Bill Kelly (below) said.

(Abington police chief Bill Kelly shows a photo of the BB gun that was seized.  Kelly photo by Justin Udo)

(Abington police chief Bill Kelly shows a photo of the BB gun that was seized. Kelly photo by Justin Udo)


“The cops came in with their guns drawn and everything and they were shouting, telling us to put our hands up,” student Ishak Johnson said.

Johnson was in the library studying before class with a dozen other summer students when they were alerted by text message to shelter in place.

“Everyone seemed to stay pretty calm throughout the whole thing. The librarians took charge,” Johnson said.

Chief Kelly says the school sent out a text message alerting its students and that got the attention of the one who had the BB gun.

“He called in immediately and said it was him and he tried to explain the situation a little bit,” Kelly said.

Turns out the gun was a BB gun. Police say it was ordered online by a 20-year-old student, and had it delivered to the home of his friend.

Police say when his friend received the packages, they agreed to meet at school to exchange them.

“We found out through the investigation they actually fired off the airsoft guns several times in the area,” Kelly said.

Police say there were no injuries or apparent damage that could be seen.

Police escorted one of the involved students to a waiting car with the gun in question. The student and his two friends, ages 20 and 21, are now in custody.

“I think eventually they did understand the tremendous catastrophe they caused by, when they learned that the entire campus was being locked down and police were swarming all over the place,” Kelly said.

Chief Kelly says at this time it doesn’t look like the men were trying to hurt anyone, they were simply looking over a new gun.

All three students, on student visa, are being held at the police department, pending a decision on potential prosecution by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.