Authorities say a "hoax" call triggered false reports of a gunman Wednesday on Northwestern's campus in Evanston, Illinois

By Adam Carlson
March 14, 2018 05:43 PM

Authorities say a “hoax” call was behind a false report of a gunman Wednesday on Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, Illinois — the same day as a nationwide student protest against gun violence.

“The incident at Emerson and Maple was swatting incident. No victims or danger to the public,” Evanston police tweeted Wednesday afternoon. (“Swatting” refers to calling in fake incidents to the police in order to trigger a large emergency response.)

Northwestern tweeted soon after, in part: “The report of a man with a gun in [graduate dorm] Engelhart Hall was a hoax. It was made in a call to the Evanston Police Department. No danger to the community exists. Police are investigating the false report.”

Both city and university police had responded after a report of a “person with a gun in Engelhart Hall,” the school tweeted earlier Wednesday.

Evanston police quickly announced they were working to secure and search the scene but had found “no evidence of a victim, scene, or gunman.”

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Other details about the incident were not available.

A message left with Evanston police was not immediately returned.

University police referred questions to the school’s communications staff, who said they were not immediately able to provide more information.