Report of gunman at Northwestern called a hoax

By Associated Press

Credit: NBC Chicago

EVANSTON, Ill. - 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.

Northwestern University is asking people to take shelter saying there is a report of a person with a gun on the school's suburban Chicago campus.

University spokesman Jon Yates said Wednesday afternoon that the school had a report of a person with a gun in Engelhart Hall, a graduate student dormitory on the Evanston campus. Yates says Evanston and Northwestern University police are on the scene.

The school also tweeted about the report, asking people to stay away from the area and to "shelter in a safe place and stay until further notice."

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