A Marine inadvertently prompted University of Maryland police to issue an alert on Thursday after students saw him carrying a rubber rifle used for ROTC midshipman training.
"The rubber rifle did not pose a threat," police said in a statement. "This type of weapon is incapable of being fired."
The Marine, who is a noncommissioned officer assigned to the Naval ROTC program at the University of Maryland, the statement says.
Students who saw the Marine told police they believed he was carrying an AR-15 rifle, the statement says. Security camera footage showed the Marine leaving campus in a vehicle.
The commander of the Naval ROTC program told police that the man spotted by students was likely one of their members, according to Maj. Marc Limansky, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police Department. The issue was resolved when the commander called the Marine and asked him to return to campus.
The University of Maryland's Naval ROTC program.
Photo Credit: Screenshot.
Police are not identifying the Marine, who was not detained or arrested at any time, Limansky said. The NCO will not face any charges because no crime was committed.
The chief of University of Maryland police has already talked with ROTC commanders about improving how they transport training rifles, Limansky said.
In March, an English professor at the University of North Dakota called 911 when she saw ROTC students training on campus with simulated rifles.
Heidi Czerwiec left a voicemail with ROTC officials complaining, "There is no (expletive) reason why I should have to be terrorized like this, to look up and see gunman on the quad and dive under my desk thinking that perhaps we're under attack or something," according to WDAZ TV in Grand Forks.