UACCH student Jarvis Christopher: "I feel like they should apologize to me and to the public for putting people through this, you know?"
HOPE, AR (KSLA) -
An innocent drop-by to Hope High School in Arkansas quickly turned horrible for one man who ended up being accused of having weapons on the campus.
The school lock down occurred on Tuesday, prompting another school, the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, to evacuate.
Now, KSLA has an exclusive interview with the man falsely accused.
Jarvis Christopher says he is a mistaken gunman.
"I knew they had a shutdown looking for a gunman, but I didn't know it was me," Christopher says.
Police say two students thought Christopher had a weapon on the high school campus.
"I didn't have a gun on me. I don't even see how it looked like I had a gun."
Christopher lives in Nashville, Arkansas and stopped at Hope High to get directions to the college campus. He made it to the college campus and was in a workshop when students and staff were sent home.
"I just thought it was crazy, man, because the whole time, I didn't know it was me. I'm sitting in class and they are shutting down the building."
Police and university officials say their actions were predicated on what they thought was reliable information at the time.
"Let's say that was a misperception," says Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson. "Still, if a person have that perception, we want that student to call the police department. We don't want to wait for something bad to happen before we address it."
Jarvis sees it a bit differently.
"They got a lot of people worked up for nothing. And then I could have gotten hurt."
But "given the set of information we had at the time, I do not think we over-reacted at all," says UACCH Vice chancellor Bobby James.
Things were back to normal on Thursday in the Hope public school system and on the campus of UACCH. But Jarvis says there remains one thing left to do.
"I feel like they should apologize to me and to the public for putting people through this, you know?"
People were able to find Christopher by using security video from the high school and the college.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:59 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:59:50 GMT
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