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