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SWAT team responds to umbrella sighting at university; Cal State goes into lockdown

Photo Credit Facebook / Bill Craig

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Expecting rain, Cal State San Marcos staff member Bill Craig grabbed an umbrella as he walked on campus Wednesday. But he could never have imagined the storm he was about to face.

That storm being a full on assault from a SWAT team.

It turns out his umbrella was mistaken for a rifle, resulting in a campus-wide lockdown and an order to shelter in place, the local ABC affiliate reported.

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Terrified students and faculty barricaded doors and the San Diego County Sheriff’s SWAT team stormed the campus.

By the time Craig got to his office, he realized the description of the alleged gunman “fit me to a tee,” 10News reported.

So he called the police and turned himself in, and soon found himself on the business end of an assault rifle.

“I guess you always think that when someone’s pointing a gun at you, you’re really going to freak out but I think I was just more focused on doing exactly what the officer said,” Craig told 10News.

The university released a statement later that day via Facebook:

“Earlier this morning there was a report to University Police of a possible gunman at CSUSM. The campus was immediately placed on lock down. Police performed a security sweep and determined that the suspect was not armed, but was a staff member carrying a large umbrella and carry bag. We are grateful for the quick response by our police officers to the perceived threat and to our campus community for their cooperation during the brief state of emergency.”

As for Craig, he later joked about the incident on Facebook, posting a comment that said: “I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”

Tom Tillison


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