Police: NU shooting call was a hoax

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Evanston police responded to what was reported as a possible shooting incident this afternoon at Northwestern University’s Engelhart Hall graduate dorm.

The incident was first reported about 2:20 p.m.

Police have blocked off traffic in the area near the building, which is located at 1915 Maple Ave. at the north edge of downtown Evanston.


Update 3:00 p.m.: Police had responded to the building after receiving a call from a man who indicated he’d shot his girlfriend inside the building. But when police just moments ago entered the unit where the caller had said he was located, they found no one inside.


Update 3:11 p.m.: Northwestern University officials had sent robocall messages to students in the minutes after the incident was first reported saying there were reports of a person with a gun on the campus and that students should shelter in place.


Update 3:19 p.m.: Northwestern and Evanston police are continuing to search the area but say that so far they have found no evidence of a victim, a gunman or a crime scene.


Update 3:31 p.m.: Police are continuing to search the 10-story building, looking for any evidence of the reported shooting.


Update 3:52 p.m: Northwestern officials now are saying that persons in Engelhart Hall should remain behind locked doors, but that persons elsehwere on campus no longer need to stay behind locked doors. They’re still urging people to avoid the Engelhart Hall area.


Update 4:09 p.m.: Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew, in a briefing for reporters, said police aren’t sure yet — but it now appears the shooting call may have been a hoax.


Update 4:19 p.m.: Glew now says police are convinced the call was a hoax, and that the call itself originated from outside the immediate Chicago area.

Police are now withdrawing from the scene and streets in the area are expected to be reopened to traffic shortly. But for the moment residents of the dorm who were outside the building are not yet being allowed back in.

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