Police say they saw Rashaad Gardner, 24, a 2010 graduate of the school, carrying the firearm about 2:30 a.m. Saturday near a campus dormitory, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.
When police ordered Gardner to drop the automatic weapon, he allegedly refused and pointed it at an officer, campus police Chief Samuel Beamon said.
An ECSU police representative said at least one officer shot Gardner in the leg, WAVY-TV, Portsmouth, Va., reported.
After being wounded, Gardner ran into a nearby wooded area. The campus was on lockdown for about 2 hours Saturday morning as officers searched for the man.
After being found leaning against a tree stump, Gardner was arrested and charged with assault by pointing a gun, possession of a weapon on state educational property and an armed terror count, Beamon said. He was jailed on $50,000 bail after being treated at a hospital.
It wasn't reported why the suspect was on the campus with the rifle.
"It's crazy to think someone had a gun like that on campus. It freaks me out," Jereka Bandy, an 18-year-old freshman at ECSU, told The Virginian-Pilot.