Investigation of Harford Community College gun report incident continues

The Harford County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate Saturday's incident at Harford Community College near Bel Air, where a person with a firearm was reported on the college's athletic fields, triggering a massive response from area police agencies.

"At this time, we are still investigating the witness account that a man with a gun was observed," Cristie Kahler, a spokesperson for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, wrote in an email Monday afternoon.

A person of interest has not been caught or come forward "at this time," Kahler stated.

Police were alerted around 2 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call about an armed person who might have fired shots on HCC's baseball fields. A baseball tournament, which included teams from out-of-state, was in progress on the fields, known collectively as Harford Sports Complex.

Sheriff's Office patrol deputies converged on the 350-acre HCC campus, with support from municipal police officers from Bel Air and Havre de Grace, the Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police. There also were K-9 units and special operations officers from the Sheriff's Office, as well as State Police aviation, were on hand, according to Kahler.

Sheriff's Office commanders estimated there were at least 50 officers involved in the search, which was also aided by HCC security.

The athletic fields were cleared by police, and people were sent to the parking lot while officers attempted to monitor the fields using exterior security cameras, according to monitored police radio broadcasts during the incident.

People who were inside campus campus buildings were advised to shelter in place. As police cleared their searches of the buildings, those inside were escorted outside and to their vehicles by officers.

There were no reports of shots being fired, and the only injury happened when a person running away from the scene fell and hurt his wrist, police said Saturday.

Police have continued to maintain a presence since Saturday.

"Deputies were on campus throughout the weekend, without incident," Kahler stated in her email Monday.

Anyone who has information about Saturday's incident is urged to call Sheriff's Office Det. Christopher Sergent at 410-836-5428.

In a letter sent to The Aegis Monday afternoon, HCC President Dianna Phillips expressed "my deepest gratitude to all who responded to our call for assistance last Saturday."

As a new resident, I am happy and proud to call Harford County home," wrote Phillips, who joined HCC last August. "However, I have never felt more gratified to be part of this great community as I was on Saturday when I witnessed firsthand the dedication and professionalism of the Sheriff's deputies and staff, as well as the other state and local law enforcement, Department of Emergency Services personnel, and emergency medical services personnel. They were incredibly well organized, proficient, thorough, and cooperative."

Each of us owes a huge debt of gratitude to our neighbors in public safety who run towards, rather than away from, a potentially dangerous situation, prepared to face whatever they may find," she continued. "They represent the best of public service in its truest and deepest sense."

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