Police: Reports Of Gunman At Northwestern University Was A Hoax

Northwestern University campus in Evanston. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Police say that the report of a gunman in a residence hall at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago was a hoax.

Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew says the Wednesday afternoon call was a “swatting” in which someone calls in a false report in the hopes in prompting a police department SWAT team to respond.

Nobody was injured and Glew says the student who the caller reported had been shot by a boyfriend has been located and she is safe.

Glew says the call came from outside the Chicago region — southeast of Rockford in northern Illinois — and that the apartment that police responded to had been vacant since around Thanksgiving.

The call prompted Northwestern to urge people in the area to “shelter in a safe place and stay until further notice.”

Such calls can be extremely dangerous. In December, police who responded to such a hoax call fatally shot a man who answered his door in Wichita, Kansas.