The Latest: Report of gunman at Northwestern called a hoax

EVANSTON, Ill. - 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.

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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.


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