A Berkeley police cruiser at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley on Thursday. Photo: Lance Knobel

Berkeley police who investigated reports that a man brought a gun to a North Berkeley middle school Thursday found them to be inconclusive, authorities say.

Police rushed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School campus, at 1781 Rose St. (at Grant Street), Thursday afternoon when the reports came in. Panicked students locked themselves in the school game room and called police after a lunchtime fight between two boys later escalated, according to some members of the school community. One of those boys brought an older relative to campus to confront the other student, and some students said they saw a gun in the man’s waistband.

Friday, police said they had investigated the gun reports but could not confirm them. They declined to release any information about what may have taken place Thursday between the two students prior to the man’s arrival at King or what he may have done once he got there.

“After reviewing all of the information, we have determined there is no conclusive evidence to indicate that a firearm was actually on campus,” police said in a statement Friday. “The case will be forwarded to Detectives for further review.”

Police said in the statement that they responded to King after getting a call about an armed man on campus: “After determining that the suspect had already left the campus, officers interviewed many witnesses and reviewed the school’s video surveillance recordings. During the investigation, we were able to identify the suspect. Later that evening, the suspect came to the Berkeley Police Department and voluntarily gave a statement.”

Police declined to release any information about the man because he was not arrested.

King Principal Janet Levenson did not respond to a request for information.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...