Faculty and students at Yale University were forced to shelter in place, and subjected to warrantless searches for nearly six hours on Monday after an anonymous caller reported a gunman on campus, prompting a huge response by local police, and multiple federal agencies.
Posted November 25, 2013 by William Vaughns (Comment)
Faculty and students at Yale University were forced to shelter in place, and subjected to warrant-less searches for nearly six hours on Monday after an anonymous caller reported a gunman on campus, prompting a huge response by local police, and multiple federal agencies.
The 911 call was received around 10 a.m. from a man at a pay phone about a mile from the campus who said his roommate was on the way to the university “to shoot people”, according to New Haven Police spokesman Officer David Hartman. The call lasted "just a few seconds” and did not specifically name the individual or a specific targeted location of the campus.
Yale ordered students and staff members to shelter in place. The school also issued an advisory asking people off campus to stay away from the area.
The response included several police departments, the FBI and other federal agencies. Police blocked off several streets near the university’s Old Campus, in the heart of New Haven, where they were concentrating their search. Several local schools also were placed in lockdown. Police in tactical gear entered several campus buildings.
"Out of abundance of caution," the school informed its students that campus police would be doing an intensive search of the buildings, starting with the campus' residential areas.
"We're going to every room on that residential college until we make sure that we are satisfied," said Esserman while describing the number of rooms needing to be searched being in the thousands.
The lockdown was lifted Monday afternoon when SWAT teams did not find a gunman. No one was injured, and no suspects have been apprehended.
“New Haven is safe. The Yale campus is safe,” New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman told news reporters. Police say they are leaning toward the incident being a hoax, and that a witness who reported seeing someone with a rifle likely saw a law enforcement officer.
Because students began their holiday break on Saturday, with no classes this week, most of the rooms have been found empty, police say. Classes are not expected to resume until Dec. 2.
A similar incident occurred over the weekend where an estimated 4,600 airline passengers were subjected to unnecessary evacuation, extra security screenings, and delayed flights after a false alarm caused mass panic at Los Angeles International Airport.