There were reports of multiple active shooters at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on Friday night, just hours after the academy’s superintendent Lt. Gen Jay Silveria gave a speech against racism.
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said their department and military personnel were currently investigating reports of shots fired on the Air Force Academy. They did not confirm that there was a shooting, however.
The U.S. Air Force Academy also tweeted immediately after the sheriff department that they had also received reports of a shooting on the campus.
A heavy police presence was reported outside of the academy with all access blocked, according to KOAA News 5. Reports of an active shooter began at about 10:30 p.m. with students within the school tweeting warnings to stay indoors and not open doors.
“Please pray for everyone on the base of the Air Force Academy right now,” academy student Alex Duppstadt tweeted. “There’s an active shooter on the loose.”
He tweeted an update minutes later saying the alleged shooter was “in my dorm.”
A parent tweeted that his son was at the academy “hiding in rooms lights out shades drawn heard gun shots doors opening and closing and had to get off phone.”
Another student, Connor Clancy tweeted that the were was more than one shooter who all claimed to be police. “DONT ANSWER DOORS,” Clancy wrote.
The Twitter account for the the thirteenth Cadet Squadron warned its cadets to not open the doors as the shooter were allegedly pretending to be police and also said cadets should not listen to the loud speaker as it may have been compromised. The Twitter account was later locked down
The incident comes days after a report in the Air Force Times that five African-American cadet candidates at the academy had had the words “go home n——” written on the whiteboards outside their dorms.
Silveria responded on Friday, giving a speech in front of cadet candidates, saying, “If you’re outraged by those words then you’re in the right place. That kind of behavior has no place in the United States air force. You should be outraged not only as an airman but as a human being.”
He continued, saying the multitude of racial incidents across the country influenced his decision to speak on the matter.
“We would be naive to think that we shouldn’t discuss this topic,” he said. “We would also be tone deaf not to think about the backdrop of what’s going on in our country. Things like Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL.”