Active Shooter Drill ‘Gone Terribly Wrong' Prompts Massive Police Response in Loop

Authorities say the company involved didn't tell employees a text message was part of a drill, prompting 911 calls

An active shooter drill gone wrong in the Loop Thursday afternoon sparked a massive police and fire response after building management failed to notify employees of their planned exercise, Chicago police officials said.

Police and firefighters were dispatched to the scene at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon after receiving several 911 calls about an active shooter situation in the building, located in the 200 block of West Randolph.

Police say that a text message was sent to employees indicating an active shooter situation was ongoing, but that the message was part of a drill that was not communicated to the employees prior to the message being sent.

“At this point, it appears to have been an active shooter drill that went terribly wrong,” 1st District Commander Michael Pigott said. “Proper notification was not made to all people in the building. A text message went out. They were testing their system, and people took that literally, as they should.”

A massive police response followed the calls, but a search of the building turned up no evidence of a shooter or gunfire, and police began escorting people out of the building.

“This was an unfounded incident, but we did not have that information when we came out and we treated it as an active shooter situation,” Pigott said.

In an update later Thursday afternoon, police say the active shooter call was “not bona fide” and that anyone still inside the building should exit as soon as possible.  

Building administrators are requesting anyone still actively seeking shelter to desist and to exit the building.

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