06:58 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Person With Gun at Northwestern University in Illinois, Reports of Shots Fired

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    Police investigating a report of a gunman at Northwestern University Wednesday announced that the area is now secure and that both police and fire officials were clearing the area. Authorities have labeled the event a "swatting incident."

    According to the emergency alert from the university, the incident took place at the school's Engelhart Hall, which is at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Emerson Street. The incident was described as an "emergency situation."

    "Swatting" is an emerging and potentially dangerous trend in which a fake call is made to emergency services that a person at a particular address or location has used a gun to commit a crime or is about to commit one, with the intended result of having a police SWAT team sent to the scene. 

    ​The Evanston Police Department later stated that there was "no evidence of a victim, scene, or gunman found," but that they, along with Northwestern University police officials, would continue to "search and secure the area." 

    ​Northwestern urged students on campus to "remain behind locked doors" but not long after the first emergency alert was issued told community members not in area that they "no longer need to stay behind locked doors."

    Speaking with reporters, Evanston Police Department Commander Ryan Glew indicated that the alert was investigated after someone had called officials around 2:17 p.m. local time and reported that he had shot his girlfriend near the graduate hall. However, there was no indication that such an incident actually took place at the location given to police.

    Engelhart Hall is a graduate student complex that houses both graduate students and their partners and families, according to the Daily Northwestern.


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