OU President: No Evidence Of Shooting On Norman Campus

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014, 12:52 pm
By: News On 6

Students at the University of Oklahoma are being told to resume normal activities but to avoid Gould Hall and the surrounding area after a possible shooting was reported on Wednesday morning.

Students received the initial push notification about the reported shooting around 11:17 a.m. Wednesday. Norman Police assisted in the response, helping to set up a perimeter around Gould Hall.

OU sent this text out to students: "OU Emergency: Shooting on campus. Avoid (Gould Hall). Seek immediate shelter in place."

Gould Hall is the architecture building. It's on the south end of campus near the football stadium and Gaylord College.

SWAT team members are continuing to sweep Gould Hall and the surrounding buildings.

UPDATE: Just after noon Wednesday, OU alerted students that normal operations have resumed. OU released this statement on its Facebook page:

"No evidence has been found of any shots being fired. There are no injuries reported at this time. Both the Norman and OU police department have very quickly responded as well as emergency personnel. President Boren is at the scene. Normal campus operations have resumed except for Gould Hall where additional checking is continuing."

University president David Boren addressed the media at 1 p.m. and praised local law enforcement.

"Our system worked, and we are just thankful no one was injured at all," Boren said.

According to authorities, they are not ruling out gunshots, but there is no evidence of it so far, he said.

According to Boren, the report of a possible shooting came from a faculty member who thought they heard three shots fired.

"The faculty member was very sincere in thinking they heard shots," Boren said.

The faculty member did exactly the right thing by calling police immediately without hesitation, he said.

The school sent texts and tweets that said: "Shooting on campus. Avoid Gould Hall. Seek immediate shelter in place."

Boren said the university made those announcements less than 3 minutes after being notified of the reported situation.

"It was the right response," Boren said.

He said the response as a whole was the correct one and any call of shots fired will continue to be taken just as seriously in the future.

Thankful "our system worked," he said.

A search has been conducted in Gould Hall, and Boren said it was thorough. Another top-to-bottom sweep is in progress "just in case," and the building remains closed to students and staff.

If nothing is found during the second sweep, Boren says Gould Hall should open later today.

According to Norman Public Schools officials, some Norman Public schools in the surrounding area of the OU campus were on "preventative lockdowns" as a precaution during the scare.

"We live in a time where we can't always think everything is a false alarm," Boren said.