Gunman Incident at Northwestern University Was Swatting Hoax

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A call from someone claiming he shot his girlfriend in a residence hall sparked a Northwestern University lockdown. Police now say it was a hoax. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

Evanston Police announced Wednesday afternoon March 14, 2018 the report of a gunman at Northwestern University was a hoax and “swatting incident.” Police said they found no evidence after reports of shots fired on the campus. The call is believed to have originated near Rockford.

Evanston Police and Northwestern University police responded with a large police presence about 2:17 p.m. Wednesday when they got a call from an male claiming to have shot his girlfriend in the area of Emerson Street and Maple Avenue. Evanston Police posted a Twitter alert at 2:30 p.m., warning of a shots fired investigation. Evanston Police Department’s first tweet regarding the incident advised a large police presence at Emerson and Maple with street closures at 2:29 p.m. — about 2 1/2 hours after they announced Church Street was reopened following the apparently unconnected National Walk Out Day event at Fountain Square in Downtown Evanston.

The Daily Northwestern posted a tweet warning of a shots fired incident at 2:36 p.m. An emergency notification about the incident was sent out to staff and students at 2:40 p.m., according to the Daily Northwestern.

Evanston police tweeted at 3:11 p.m. that they checked the area and found “no evidence of a victim, scene or gunman.” Police said they were continuing to search and secure the area.

Evanston police urged people to stay out of the area due to the shooting investigation. Northwestern University urged people at Englehart Hall, a graduate school student dorm/apartment building, to stay behind locked doors. Another warning said “remain sheltered or avoid the area.”

Portions of the Northwestern University campus were on lockdown.

Evanston police tweeted that the incident at Emerson and Maple was a swatting incident with no victims or danger to the public and that the area was secure at 4:27 p.m. Northwestern University issued an all-clear around 4:30 p.m.

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