American University has issued an alert asking people who are outside to leave campus due to a report of a possible “armed intruder.” Others were urged to lock their doors and stay away from windows.
However, the university eventually gave the all clear, writing, “AU Alert: ALL CLEAR. SEARCHES HAVE CONCLUDED. ALL BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS ARE NOW DEEMED SECURE. LOCKDOWN RELEASED. UNIVERSITY IS RETURNING TO NORMAL OPERATIONS.”
It took hours for the university to lift the lockdown, though. At 2:48 p.m., the university had written on Twitter, “AU Alert: AUPD has determined the lockdown at 4401 Conn. Ave. can be released. THIS APPLIES TO 4401 CONN. AVE BLDG ONLY. All other buildings remain in lockdown.” At around 3:20 p.m, the university added, “AU Alert: AUPD has determined lockdown @ Spring Valley Bldg can be released. THIS APPLIES TO SVB/4801 MASS. AVE. ONLY. All other buildings remain in lockdown.”
At 3:30 p.m, AU wrote, “AU Alert: AUPD has determined the lockdown at 4200 Wisconsin can be released. THIS NOTICE APPLIES TO 4200 WISC ONLY. Main/East/Tenley Campus still in lockdown.” At 4:10 p.m., the university wrote, “AU Alert: Investigation and building searches ongoing and lockdown remains in place at Main and East Campuses. Red Express Shuttle route for SVB restarted. SVB = Spring Valley Building (old law school at 4801 Mass. Ave.)”
Kevin Lewis, a journalist with ABC7 in Washington D.C., wrote on Twitter that the university does not believe there is an active shooter on campus. “UPDATE: Based on new information, I am told the current American University lockdown is a precautionary measure,” he wrote. “AU does NOT believe there’s an active shooter on campus. Instead, MPD received a call about a person with a gun on their hip near Nebraska Ave. and New Mexico Ave.”
The university wrote on Twitter on July 18, 2018: “AU Alert: Reports of armed intruder near campus. Lock doors & stay away from windows-If outside, leave campus immediately-Police responding. More info to follow.”
Here’s the university’s tweet:
At 2:40 p.m, the university wrote, “AU Alert: Lockdown continues. Investigation and bldg searches ongoing by AUPD, MPD, and Secret Service. If outside leave campus-if inside shelter in place.”
At 2 p.m. in DC, the university wrote, “AU Alert: Lockdown continues. Building by building search to be conducted by MPD & AUPD. Campus road closed. Continue to shelter in place.” At 2:20 p.m., the university wrote, “AU Alert: Lockdown continues. Investigation ongoing. Technical issue delayed previous e-mail alerts; now resolved. Continue to shelter in place.”
The situation terrified people with ties to campus. “I’m shaking. My daughter is at American University and there’s an armed intruder on campus,” one woman wrote on Twitter as news spread although, again, the reports of the intruder are not confirmed.
Here’s what you need to know:
The University Suspended Shuttle Operations as the Investigation Continued
American University also wrote on Twitter, “AU Alert: Lockdown continues. Investigation is focused on Main Campus, East Campus, and 3201 New Mexico. Shuttle ops are suspended. Continue to shelter in place.”
One woman wrote on Twitter, “I’m on lockdown because we are next to American University and there’s an armed intruder. I’m scared. I think of how children may feel when on lockdown in schools. I think about my babies. This is no way to live. #ThisisAmerica #AmericanUniversity.” As noted, though, the university has only confirmed that there were armed intruder reports.
American University is located in Washington D.C. Its Twitter profile says, “American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries.”
WAMU 88.7 reported, “To clarify: the alert pertains to the ENTIRE American University campus.”
This post will be updated as more information is learned about the situation.