Twitter flooded with reports of people saying there was an “active shooter” on the University of Cincinnati campus on the evening of November 29, 2018. The campus police wrote on Twitter, “Police emergency involving a person with a gun near Campus Rec Center. Stay inside and away from the area.”
Here’s that tweet:
The university’s official account then retweeted that report and wrote, “UPDATE: Shots were fired tonight on the UC campus during a fight near the Campus Rec Center. All those involved are believed to be gone from the scene. No reported injuries.” The shelter in place was lifted.
One local journalist’s report also indicated that it’s not an active shooter in the sense that most people interpret that phrase; rather, there were shots fired near the rec center after a fistfight, she also reported. Students were furious that they learned about the shooting on Twitter first.
Sarah Walsh, a journalist with WCPO-TV, wrote on Twitter, “Students at the University of Cincinnati are sheltering in place following shots fired on campus near the recreation center. Police say this was the result of a fistfight that escalated into gunfire. Three shell casings found on the ground.”
Walsh added: “If a person was injured in the shooting, they have not yet been found. A number of UC students are messaging us to say they knew about the shooting via text messages, Snapchat and other social media for around 20 minutes before campus authorities informed them. Many spent those minutes scared and confused.” There was an unverified Snapchat video flying around also. Some local media were sharing it on Twitter. You can see it here.
A shelter warning was in place, according to The News Record, the UC student newspaper.
The News Record said that UC students, staff and faculty received this “active shooter alert” via email: “Police Emergency INVOLVING A PERSON WITH A GUN NEAR CAMPUS REC CENTER. Occupants lock your room. Others stay out of area.”
The campus police report about a person with a gun was the first confirmation from authorities that something was going on many minutes after Twitter first flooded with the unconfirmed reports about a possible active shooter. Some students criticized the university for not informing them sooner about what was going on. Students reported that their friends were hiding.
Some students said they were told to stay in their dorms, however, with one woman writing, “Reports of an active shooter on the University of Cincinnati’s campus. The university has instructed students to stay in their dorms.”
Twitter began filling with frantic reports of an active shooter or shooting near Center Court in the late evening hours. WCPO-TV wrote, “We’re sending a team to the University of Cincinnati right now to learn more about reports of an incident and large police presence on campus.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Twitter Filled With Frightened Reports of a Possible Shooting
People took to Twitter to frantically report there was an active shooter. Be aware that early reporting in such chaotic situations sometimes ends up being wrong. “I should not have to be worried about active shooters. I should not have to text everyone I care about to make sure they are okay and safe,” wrote one woman on Twitter.
Here are some of the tweets on the UC situation:
This article is being updated as more information becomes known.