On Friday night, April 7, 2023, the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman experienced a terrifying incident that turned out to be a false alarm. Around 9:24 p.m., a call came in that reported shots fired at the library on campus, prompting the university to issue an alert of an active shooter at the Van Vleet Oval and advise students and staff to take immediate action: run, hide, or fight.
The alert triggered a massive response from local and state law enforcement agencies, who rushed to the scene and searched the campus for any signs of a shooter or victims. However, after nearly two hours of investigation, no threat was found and no injuries were reported. The university gave an all-clear message and lifted the lockdown around 11 p.m.
False threat source at the University of Oklahoma
The source of the false report is still unknown, but some witnesses said they saw confetti-like material on the ground near the library, possibly from a party popper or a similar device. Police are reviewing campus video footage and interviewing callers and witnesses to determine what caused the panic and whether it was a hoax or a misunderstanding.
The OU community expressed relief and gratitude that no one was harmed, but also frustration and anger over the unnecessary fear and disruption caused by the incident. Many students and faculty members said they were traumatized by the experience and felt unsafe on campus. Some also criticized the university for not providing enough information or support during and after the crisis.
The University of Oklahoma president issued a statement apologizing for the inconvenience and distress caused by the incident, and thanking the law enforcement officers for their swift and professional response. He also announced that counseling services would be available for anyone who needed them, and that security measures would be reviewed and enhanced to prevent similar incidents in the future.
False alerts at the University of Oklahoma
The incident at OU was one of several false alarms of active shooters that have occurred at various campuses across the country in recent years, raising questions about how to balance safety and accuracy in emergency communications. Experts say that while it is important to alert people quickly in case of a real threat, it is also crucial to verify the information before sending it out, and to provide clear and timely updates as the situation evolves.
The University of Oklahoma’s latest warning was a major scare. We thank God for safety and for the state to know the source of this false alarm as soon as possible. That’s it, we’ll update you later.