Report of gunman at Northwestern called a hoax

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EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on report of shots fired at Northwestern University. (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

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.

___

3:41 p.m.

Authorities are urging people at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago to take shelter after a report of a gunman and shots fired in a student residential building.

In a Twitter post Wednesday afternoon, Evanston police say there was a report of a gun and “shots fired” but that officers had not found “evidence of a victim, scene or gunman.”

University spokesman Jon Yates says the report comes from Engelhart Hall, a graduate student dormitory. But he says the university has not confirmed that any shots were fired.

The university also sent a tweet asking people to stay away from the area and to “shelter in a safe place and stay until further notice.”

The report comes as students across the country walked out of school to protest gun violence.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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