'Bullet belt' prompts gunman scare at Pace University

- A man wearing a belt decorated with ammunition prompted alarm at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Thursday afternoon.

"There is no active shooter, there is no man with a gun, there were no shots fired, there is no one injured," Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said. "We'd like to allay those concerns right from the outset."

The tension all started when some people inside a men's room on the 6th floor of a Pace building, near City Hall and police HQ, saw what they thought was an ammunition belt for a machine gun protruding from a toilet stall, Miller said.

"When they went to further investigate and looked inside the stall, they observed what they believed was a person possibly loading a magazine of a gun," Miller said. "The individuals fled the location and immediately dialed 911 reporting a possible man with a machine gun in a men's room in the school."

That 911 call prompted "a number of procedures in our active-shooter protocol," Miller said.

The NYPD mobilized officers from the 1st Precinct, the Emergency Service Unit, and the Strategic Response Group, and the Critical Response Command, Miller said.

While evacuating and searching the building, police officers encountered a man who was wearing a belt that appeared to be made of rifles bullets. They interviewed the man and learned that he had been in a stall in the 6th-floor bathroom at the same time as the 911 callers.

"His belt was just a belt that he wore as part of his wardrobe, a fashion statement -- probably not a very good fashion statement," Miller said. He added that the witnesses confirmed that the man with the bullet belt was the person they saw in the stall.

Miller said the NYPD has taken the belt to check if the bullets are live rounds or not. 

Any arrests, a reporter asked?

"We're considering charging one individual with a fashion crime," Miller said. "But we're still conferring with the fashion prosecutors."

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