Campus gunman hoax alarms Northwestern students

By Cade Shultice
Medill Reports

Northwestern University students and community members breathed sighs of relief on Wednesday after the Evanston Police Department declared that the emergency alert issued earlier that day was a false alarm.

Around 2:30 pm, the Northwestern University Emergency Notification System sent out phone calls, text messages and emails to students and staff members, warning them of a potential gunman on the Evanston campus and advising them to seek shelter.

By 4:30 police determined that the alleged presence of an armed man was a hoax perpetrated by an unknown caller from outside Evanston, and gave the all clear to return to normal.

But several students said they were shaken by the experience.

The incident took place on the same day of a nationwide school walkout in protest of gun violence. Some Northwestern students held their own walkout earlier that day, but events scheduled for later that night were postponed.

Photo at top: “The Rock” on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus decorated to show solidarity for the victims of the shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida last month. (Cade Shultice/MEDILL)