Police say class project prompted ECU dorm evacuation

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The all-clear has been given at a dorm at East Carolina University that had been evacuated after a “suspicious, concerning package” was found inside.

ECU Police Capt. Chris Sutton says they first locked down Legacy Hall around 11:56 a.m. Tuesday morning and then worked to clear the building. Legacy Hall, which is on College Hill, has 365 students.

Around 2:00 p.m., Sutton said the SBI had just arrived to make sure the package was not a threat to the building, the all-clear was given around 3:00 p.m.

“The objects that were in question are not a threat,” said Sutton in a follow-up press conference shortly after 3 p.m. “It was explained that it was part of a class project, and that’s all I have right now.”

Sutton said the package was found in a student’s room and it looks like it was intended to be a joke. He said a video was first posted on social media.

“Who would do that?” said Legacy Hall resident, Olivia Richetti. “There’s obviously precautions to be taken, but you just don’t do that even if it’s a joke or not.”

“Why jeopardize yourself or put yourself that position in the first place?” said ECU student, Kingi Garner. “I don’t know why anybody would do that even for attention, but it’s just crazy games.”

Sutton also said that ECU police had gotten warrants and searched the student’s room for any other devices.

“The SnapChat video showed the item and then it showed an individual’s face and there was some verbiage that referenced was it a bomb or not,” Sutton said. “The only way to determine if it is is to have the item cleared.”

He said the students who received the package are cooperating with them so far.

In addition to the SBI, the FBI and Greenville Fire-Rescue were also on scene.

Legacy Hall was released back to ECU Campus Housing around 3 p.m. and students were allowed to return to their rooms.

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