Curling Iron Mistaken As 'Weapon' Sends Monmouth University Into Panicked Frenzy

The "weapon" that put Monmouth University into a shelter in place and alarming students across campus overnight has been identified as a curling iron, officials said.

Monmouth U
Monmouth U Photo Credit: Google Maps

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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