Shortly after ordering a campus-wide lockdown, University of Oklahoma officials said Wednesday there was no sign that shots were fired on campus and no reported injuries -- but the brief alert, police response and emergency warnings to shelter in place have become an all-too-common drill at campuses across the nation
“As of this time, no evidence has been found of any shots being fired” on the Norman campus, Catherine F. Bishop, the university’s vice president for public affairs, said in a statement. “There are no injuries reported at this time. Both the Norman and OU police departments have very quickly responded as well as emergency personnel. President [David] Boren is at the scene. Normal campus operations have resumed except for Gould Hall where additional checking is continuing.”
The Oklahoma incident comes one day after a student was fatally shot inside a Purdue University engineering building. A suspect was arrested, and the day ended with a candlelight vigil for the slain student.
Times staff writers Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Matt Pearce reported on the hyper-vigilance and federal requirements that drive school officials throughout the country to readily report and respond to possible threats.
Over the last year, high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools have been crime scenes. Many students who arrive at college campuses today are familiar with lockdown drills, The Times reported.
College police chiefs note that federal law requires them to promptly notify campus communities of possible threats, sometimes before investigators have time to learn whether the threats are credible.