Howard University

Police: ‘Active Shooter' Reports at Howard University Were Unfounded; Who Made the Calls and Why?

"We have found no evidence, no witnesses, that there was a shooting on our campus"

No threat has been found at Howard University after the school received at least two reports of an active shooter during the historically black school's homecoming week. 

The lockdown is over and the scene has been cleared, D.C. police announced about 2:05 p.m. Tuesday. 

"We have found no evidence, no witnesses, nothing that supports that there was a shooting on our campus in any location," Alonzo Joy, the university's interim police chief, said at a news conference.

The university was "anonymously notified of a potential shooter on campus," school officials said in a statement earlier Tuesday. "We took the call seriously and police are investigating." 

Howard University College of Medicine received one call from someone who said there was an active shooter on campus, Joy said. D.C. police received a second call. 

Who made the calls and why is under investigation, Joy and Metropolitan Police Department Patrol Chief Lamar Greene said at the news conference.

"There are going to be some serious repercussions if we identify who was engaged with this," Joy said.  

D.C. police said on Twitter at 12:21 p.m. that they were investigating a report of an active shooter. The message sparked fear among students, who were learning of the potential threat for the first time.

Howard University sent students a text message about 12:40 p.m. that said: "ALERT!! There is a report of an ARMED person throughout the campus shelter in place while police investigate."

People ran out of the administration building, cellphone video shot by a student shows.

Officers swept through the campus for hours looking for signs of danger. Some officers wore riot helmets and body armor, and carried long rifles. The FBI assisted. 

Students and staff were told to shelter in place. The school's Administration Building, which is located on the 2400 block of Sixth St. NW, was evacuated, school officials say. And people in the area were advised to take precautions.

Howard students told News4 they were worried. 

"I just hope nobody's hurt," one student said. 

Some streets around campus were closed. Sixth Street NW was closed from Fairmont Street to College Street, and Howard Place was closed from Georgia Avenue to 4th Street.

Howard is celebrating its 150th anniversary and homecoming this week. Homecoming will continue as planned, school president Wayne A.I. Frederick said. 

"We will have a safe homecoming," he said. 

All classes for the remainder of Tuesday were canceled. 

Earlier this month, an Alexandria, Virginia, man was arrested nearly two years after police say he threatened to murder African Americans at the university. The Nov. 2015 threat was posted on the website 4Chan, which allows users to post anonymously.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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