OU says active shooter report was ‘swatting’ incident


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By John Dobberstein, Editor

University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz, Jr. said Sunday that the report of an active shooter on the Norman campus Friday was a “swatting” law enforcement from outside the U.S.

At approximately 9:24 p.m., several calls were made to 911 reporting an active shooter on campus near the South Oval and Bizzell Memorial Library. Officers immediately responded to the area, and after conducting a thorough search, did not find any evidence of a shooting or criminal activity, Harroz said.

Within less than one minute of the initial call to 911, the first emergency RAVE alert was sent to all Norman students, faculty, and staff, and OUPD arrived on the scene in under two minutes, the university said.

With FBI assistance, the university confirmed it was a "swatting incident,” where callers fake an emergency that draws a large response from law enforcement.

Although the investigation will continue for some time, it is believed that the calls targeting OU’s campus originated from outside the country, the university said.

“Sadly, OU is not the only school to have recently been targeted by swatting, and it is deeply troubling that there are people who want to purposely inflict such trauma and chaos,” Harroz said.

“As relieved as we are that the incident turned out to be false, we recognize that the feelings of fear and anxiety that many of us experienced on Friday were very real.”

He also expressed “overwhelming gratitude to the OU Police Department, to the OU Department of Campus Safety, and to the more than 100 officers from multiple law enforcement agencies who immediately and decisively took action, heading directly toward the perceived threat without an ounce of hesitation.

“As with any major event, we will learn from this and find ways to improve, but the main takeaway is that our community and its response were exceptional.”

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