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Lockdown at University of Oklahoma was caused by fake 911 calls

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Police at the campus on Friday night (Credit: OU webcam)

The lockdown at the University of Oklahoma’s Norman campus on Friday was caused by fake 911 calls which originated from outside the U.S., officials said on Sunday night as three more schools were targeted.

The incident happened at about 9:24 p.m. on Friday when 911 received several calls reporting an active shooter on campus, near the South Oval and Bizzell Memorial Library. The campus was put on lockdown within 1 minute.

“Officers immediately responded to the area, and after conducting a thorough search, did not find any evidence of a shooting or criminal activity,” University President Joseph Harroz, Jr. said in an email to students on Sunday night.

Harroz said the university, with the assistance of the FBI, has since confirmed that the calls were an incident of “swatting,” which is when someone calls 911 and reports false information to draw armed police to a certain location.

“Although the investigation will continue for some time, it is believed that the calls targeting our campus originated from outside of the United States,” Harroz said. “It is deeply troubling that there are people who want to purposely inflict such trauma and chaos.”

It’s unknown who was behind the swatting calls or what may have motivated them.

Three more schools were the target of swatting incidents on Sunday night, including Boston University in Massachusetts, Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Middlebury College in Vermont. All three received calls reporting an active shooter on campus, but nothing was found.

It’s unknown if the latest three incidents are linked to what happened at the University of Oklahoma.

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