On Tuesday, around noon Eastern, Howard University says that it received a tip that there was an active shooter on campus. The school has advised all students and staff to “shelter in place” while police conduct a full sweep of the campus.
“This afternoon, we were anonymously notified of a potential shooter on campus. We took the call seriously and police are investigating. Because the safety of our students and staff are our number one priority, the Admin [Building] has been evacuated. Police are currently conducting a sweep of campus. All students and staff should stay in place and shelter in place until further notice,” the school explained in a series of tweets.
Police have since cleared the campus and lifted the lockdown order.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Howard University Has Cancelled Classes for the Day
Howard University has cancelled classes for the remainder of the day, according to NBC Washington. The school’s Homecoming celebration will still be held this week.
Throughout the afternoon, the school updated staff and students by way of social media.
“Still investigating. Police are sweeping all buildings. HU community, please stay in place, shelter in place,” the school tweeted at 1:12 p.m.
“HU Community, please continue to stay in place & shelter in place. Authorities continue to sweep buildings. We appreciate your patience,” read another update, posted at 1:51 p.m.
At 2:08 p.m., the school confirmed that all of the buildings on campus had been cleared.
2. Washington, D.C., Police Advised People in the Area to ‘Take Precautions’ & But Did Not Find Evidence of an Active Shooter
Around 12:20 p.m., Washington, D.C., police sent out a tweet confirming that they were on the scene after they received a report that there was an active shooter at the school. Although they have not found evidence of this, police encouraged people in the area to “take precautions.”
In addition to the Washington, D.C., police and campus security being on the scene, SWAT was also called in. Heavily armed law enforcement officials were seen walking around the campus, checking buildings, and making sure that their search was thorough.
As stated above, authorities have confirmed that there was no active shooter found. The school’s lockdown has been lifted.
3. Several Photos & Messages Have Been Posted Since the News Broke
Since the initial report, several people have taken to social media to post about the situation. You can read some of those tweets below.
In addition, the school’s president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, was escorted to a safe location by security. You can see a photo of that below.
4. Some Students Say that Howard University Didn’t Send Out a Text or Email Informing Them of the Situation on Campus
Since the news started circulating on social media, several people have posted tweets saying that Howard University did not send out any sort of email or text alert to students informing them about what is going on. Many Twitter users have been asking the school why no alerts were sent out.
You can see some of those posts below.
About 40 minutes after the news of a possible active shooter appeared on social media, the school sent out the following message, according to NBC Washington.
“ALERT!! There is a report of an ARMED person throughout the campus shelter in place while police investigate.”
5. The Howard University Campus Is Nearly 300 Acres
Howard University is located at 2400 Sixth St NW in Washington, D.C. The campus is nearly 300 acres. Academic Building A (which was evacuated) is located toward the center of the campus and sits in front of the McMillan Reservoir. For a map of the campus, click here.
According to Forbes, the student population is over 10,000.
“Howard University is a private, historically black university located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1867 by Civil War hero Oliver Howard, Howard has a long history of producing African-American leaders in every field. Howard offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies in over 120 areas of study across 13 different schools and colleges.”