Earlier Friday, the school said police were told a man with a weapon was seen in the area of the General Classroom Building. The university advised students to stay inside and lock their doors and windows.
The man was described as African American, approximately 5'11", wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans, blue cap and white T- shirt.
But after an hours-long search of campus buildings, nothing was found and the lockdown was lifted. Friday evening, police said a review of school surveillance tape turned up pictures of a man carrying an umbrella with a strap attached that could have been mistaken for a weapon.
The school has more than 10,000 students and more than 2,000 employees. The lockdown included scores of Guilford County high school students who attend an on-campus high school focused on math, science and technology, N.C. A&T spokeswoman Nettie Rowland said.
In 2011, ECU went into an extended lockdown that also turned out to be a man carrying an umbrella.