Reports of a possible armed individual on the campus of Northwestern University in suburban Chicago turned out to be a hoax, police say.
The “shots fired” call sent officers to a graduate dorm on the Evanston, Ill., campus. But no person with a weapon was located and eventually security determined it was a case of “swatting” or falsely reporting a shooting to the police, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The incident at Emerson and Maple was swatting incident. No victims or danger to the public. Area is secure. Police and Fire are clearing the area.
— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) March 14, 2018
Wednesday afternoon, students, faculty and employees at Northwestern were told to shelter in place while police searched for a potential shooter. Evanston police were called with reports of a person who had shot his girlfriend at the dorm, but the woman was found unhurt, and there was no evidence that any shooting had taken place.
The unidentified woman spoke with police and said she and her boyfriend were not experiencing any domestic problems. After a search had been undertaken, police determined there was no threat and an “all-clear” was given.
ALL CLEAR. Police have determined that the report of a man with a gun in Engelhart Hall was a hoax. It was made in a call to the Evanston Police Department. No danger to the community exists. Police are investigating the false report.
— Northwestern (@NorthwesternU) March 14, 2018
“We have not located any indication of a shooting as described,” Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew, Evanston police spokesperson, told reporters.
Coinciding with walkout
It is unclear if the hoax was played as a response to National Walkout Day in which students across the country staged a walkout from their classes in response to the Parkland, Fla., shooting last month and other gun violence at schools nationwide.
However, many Northwestern students did participate in the walkout themselves, supporting the national effort. Many marched through the campus chanting and carrying protest signs.