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Report of gunman near Merrick LIRR station that caused school lockout unfounded, police say

A report of a man with a gun, possibly a rifle, near the Long Island Rail Road station in Merrick sent police swarming the area Thursday morning, while the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District announced all school buildings were on "lockout" status as a result.

But Nassau County police said an investigation found no suspect -- and no evidence of anyone carrying a weapon.

As a result, the school district moved off "lockout" status at about 11:15 a.m., reopening all buildings to normal traffic, a spokeswoman said.

Police said a 911 caller reported that a man, "possibly with a gun, a rifle," had been seen in the vicinity of Sunrise Highway and the train station at 9:25 a.m. and that officers were dispatched to the scene.

As a result, the Bellmore-Merrick school administration placed all schools on lockout and emailed a notice to parents and guardians. That email read:

"Dear Parents & Guardians,

This is to inform you that all school buildings within the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD are currently in a 'Lock Out.' This very precautionary action has been taken due to an unconfirmed incident reported to the police of an armed man crossing Sunrise Highway near the Merrick train station.

"A lock out includes the double checking that all exterior doors are locked, windows are closed and exterior blinds have been drawn. NOBODY will be allowed in or out of the building until the 'Lock Out' has been lifted. We will update you with information as it becomes available. Please know that the safety and security of our kids is our primary focus."

However, police said their investigation found no evidence of anyone with a gun in the area.

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