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Lockdown lifted at Valencia college: Someone mistook tree branches for a rifle

Lockdown lifted at Valencia college: Someone mistook tree branches for a rifle
Authorities investigated a report of a woman walking around College of the Canyons with a rifle and put the campus on lockdown. It turned out the woman was carrying tree branches. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

Authorities lifted a lockdown Wednesday at College of the Canyons in Valencia after they determined that a report of a woman with a rifle was actually a woman with some tree branches.

“Better safe, than sorry,” the Santa Clarita Valley station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter.

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The incident began about 4:35 p.m., when someone reported seeing a woman “getting a rifle” out of a tree and walking on campus, the Sheriff’s Department said. About 2,000 students and 200 staffers were on lockdown for about two hours while deputies searched the area.

Deputies did not find anything suspicious during their search of campus buildings and determined that a woman “took tree branches from a tree.” The campus was deemed safe and the lockdown was lifted about 6:40 p.m.

The community college had advised people to shelter in place.

“Stay off campus if you are not already here,” the school tweeted.

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