NORMAN, Okla. — The president of the University of Oklahoma says a campus lockdown likely was the result of a false alarm.
President David Boren said what was reported as gunfire Wednesday could have been related to construction projects near the university's architecture building. He said it was likely that noises near Gould Hall could have been misinterpreted as gunshots.
University officials issued a notice late Wednesday morning that shots had been reported near the center of campus and that people should stay where they were. Within an hour, police issued an all-clear for most of the 30,000-student campus, which is about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Boren said emergency texts were distributed within three minutes of the initial call coming in and that it appeared students and faculty responded appropriately.
On the Scene ...
Norman Transcript staff on the scene at OU when the alarm was sounded said the SWAT team responded to reports of the shooting at Gould Hall.
Students were scurrying away from the area, and there were two ambulances and a fire truck on Jenkins Ave.
Traffic backed up on Jenkins as students read text messages from the university telling them to shelter in place and avoid Gould Hall.
Landscape Architecture professor Tom Woodfin said he didn’t hear anything inside his office. He looked out and saw a uniformed officer carrying a rifle.
Shortly afterward, police began evacuating the building.
“Somebody thought they heard gunshots and so they initiated the active shooter response team,” Woodfin said. “As far as I know there hasn’t been any corroboration of shots.”
Woodfin said he counted 12 Norman police and sheriff vehicles parked on the oval. People were told to take shelter inside Gaylord Hall as emergency responders checked Gould Hall.
Norman Transcript is a CNHI News Service publication.