As thousands of students protested gun violence by walking out of schools across the U.S. on Wednesday, students at Northwestern University were placed under lockdown after reports of a man with a gun on campus.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a man called the Evanston, Illinois police and claimed he shot his girlfriend in Northwestern's Englehart Hall. After dispatching "scores of heavily armed officers," police eventually said they found no evidence of a victim, scene or gunman. The incident is now being labeled a case of "swatting," a false call to emergency services in an attempt to draw a large police response to a certain address.
Despite there being no gunman on campus, people at Northwestern were still under the impression that was the case for around two hours. Many on campus, along with their loved ones, took to social media to express their fear. Some were also calling for gun control.
— Deborah Copaken (@dcopaken) March 14, 2018
I’m hiding in my bathroom right now because there is a shooter in my apartment building at #Northwestern. I never imagined I would ever be in this situation. I’m terrified.
— Sarah (@dramabelle1) March 14, 2018
Currently crammed in a room with other Northwestern students because there is an active shooter on campus. People are terrified and crying. I would like to send a big Fuck You to any politician who values money from the NRA over the safety of me and my peers. #EnoughIsEnoughMS
— Mara Kelly (@maranara22) March 14, 2018
Right now I am communicating with my girlfriend via Facebook and iMessage, who's locked in a bathroom because of the gunman on Northwestern's campus. They have not found the gunman. Yes, it's #NationalWalkOutDay. This must end. This cannot be normal.
— ((( angus ))) (@TheAngus) March 14, 2018
I never imagined I'd be in my campus’ library during a lockdown hiding from a gunman. I never imagined texting my best friends on campus “are you safe?” about a gunman. NOW is the time to support gun control
— angelica (@gelll_) March 14, 2018
Reports coming in that the gunman at Northwestern might have been a hoax.
Look at the response that occurred anyway. Look at the protocols that exist. Look at the messages people sent to each other.
Look at all the things they make us do because they love their goddamn guns.
— Bilal Dardai (@bilald) March 14, 2018
The fact that I have to spend #NationalWalkOutDay scared for my boyfriend's life because of an active shooter at Northwestern makes me sick. Enough was enough a long time ago. Gun control now.
— Sally Thames (@thamesenator) March 14, 2018
Police are reportedly investigating the false report.
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