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Northwestern University lockdown caused by 'swatting' incident

Posted at 3:12 PM, Mar 14, 2018

Northwestern University in the Chicago suburb of Evanston was under a lockdown order for nearly an hour after reports came in Wednesday afternoon of a person on campus with a gun and shots fired. 

It turns out that the whole incident was a hoax. 

According to ABC News, an Evanston Police official said that the report was a swatting incident. The emergency call to police claiming there was a gunman on Northwestern's campus came from out of state.  

Swatting pranks have been taking place in recent years involving a call to police prompting a SWAT unit to respond to a person's home. The prank sometimes end up being deadly. 

In December, a 28-year-old Kansas man was shot and killed by police after a prankster claimed the man was holding his family hostage after shooting his father. When police arrived, the man reached for a waistband, causing police to kill the man. 

It turns out he was unarmed, and the call came from 1,400 miles away. 

Northwestern University originally reported that a person with a gun was located near Engelhart Hall. Evanston Police said that several streets nearby were closed. After an initial search, Evanston Police said they could not find any victims, gunmen or crime scene. 

Students and employees were being told to seek shelter around 2:40 p.m. local time. An hour after the initial lockdown order, Northwestern said that only those in Englehart Hall remained in shelter. 

An all clear was given shortly after 4 p.m. local time.