The hair tool was initially reported as a possible armed suspect with shots fired, prompting the lockdown at the West Long Branch school around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, university officials and law enforcement said.
More than four hours later, law enforcement and university officials found the "suspect" was carrying a curling iron.
"Detectives were able to utilize video footage and other technology based on the description provided and identified a person of interest, a currently enrolled student," said university president, Dr. Patrick F. Leahy.
"Based on interviews with that person, law enforcement personnel were able to determine that the person was in possession of a curling iron that was mistaken for a weapon. Based on this update to the investigation, the University lifted the shelter-in-place order at 1:40 a.m. on March 23."
Community members took to Twitter following the all-clear, saying their students were "shocked and exhausted."
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