According to university authorities, what initially seemed like a false report led to a response regarding potential gunfire on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, suggesting an active shooter situation.
The university stated in a tweet that there was no danger detected following an extensive investigation, resulting in campus police declaring an “all clear.” The University of Oklahoma notified students and staff about a potential active shooter on campus, 89 minutes prior to the issuance of the all-clear signal.
Update: University of Oklahoma states that false calls reporting an active gunman originated from a location outside of the United States.
University of Oklahoma police chief Nate Tarver told media representatives at the scene that hundreds of officers who responded to the panic call could not find any evidence that a shooting had occurred.
Tarver stated, “We conducted a thorough search of the adjacent area and the library, but we found no evidence of any shooting, and there were no threats.”
The chief said that his officers have been trained to respond to active shooter situations and will review the response to determine if there are any areas where it could be strengthened. He also said that the department’s staff was happy that everyone appeared to be safe beyond that.
Tarver mentioned that risk patrol usually involves officers responding to various types of situations in different areas. He added that a call related to swatting may or may not be considered an alert, depending on the circumstances.
Swatting is a prank where someone makes a hoax call to 911, disguising their phone number and origin, often drawing heavily armed SWAT officers and police to a fictional emergency location.
Tarver stated, “Currently, we are unaware of any alternative approach to address this matter, but this is an unfavorable predicament. Due to the concentration of law enforcement in one location, it leaves these other areas susceptible.”
“Examine that ‘slightly farther to uncover the details,’ Tarver mentioned that the department would investigate the events of Friday evening.”
President Joseph Harroz, Jr. Of the University of Oklahoma praised the reaction of law enforcement.
Harroz, Jr. Expressed that the campus is secure. He mentioned that our community was well-informed, our emergency procedures functioned effectively, and our officers promptly took action. He praised our OUPD officers and recognized the swift response of law enforcement from neighboring areas.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol stated that numerous officers were dispatched to the active shooter report at OU.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster told The Oklahoman that the app Button Panic Rave was pushed at 10:45 p.M. On Friday, prompting an immediate response from hundreds of officers in the area.
Troopers were promptly notified, with more than 70 of them being informed. Not only were multiple agencies involved, but the response was also excellent, and it was extremely quick.
Additionally: The emergency response app called Rave is now accessible to all school districts throughout the state.
According to Hunter McKee, spokesperson for the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the law enforcement agencies of Norman, Noble, and Moore, along with deputies from his organization, arrived at the location.
A chronology of the notifications that OU issued regarding a potential armed assailant
The first alert was sent at 9:24 p.M. On Twitter and campus. It was noted that an alleged active shooter was present at the Van Vleet Oval, prompting immediate action. The area, also known as Oval South, is located between Elm and Asp, north of Lindsey.
“Run. Conceal. Battle!” The tweet concluded.
At the University of Oklahoma campus, authorities from the University Police were conducting an investigation into potential gunshots. In a subsequent tweet, the university’s primary account mentioned that this occurred at 9:46 p.M.
The tweet advised residents to avoid the Oval South area and seek shelter. Similar tweets were shared at 10:04 AM and 10:31 PM.
The evacuation notice was given, 90 minutes after the initial warning was sent and individuals on the university grounds were directed to either flee or conceal themselves, at 10:53 p.M.
Rachel Dorsey, an OU junior who was on campus Friday night during the shelter in place, expressed her disbelief when the all-clear was announced.
Dorsey informed The Oklahoman, “Furthermore, there were numerous speculations and things circulating about various students on campus.” “The instruction to run, hide, fight was undoubtedly impactful, leading us all to believe that it was a genuine threat and necessitated seeking shelter.”