A professor at the University of Southern California sent campus into a panic Monday when she falsely alerted students and authorities that there was an active shooter in her building.
Just hours after news broke of the devastating shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, professor Amy Granados became distraught, telling her class to take cover to evade an active shooter on campus. She then fled the room, saying she was going to get help.
The Daily Trojan reports that at first, students thought it was just a drill.
“A lot of us were very hesitant about whether it was a drill or not,” said sophomore Christopher Rawlings. “I, for one, just thought it was a drill and that she was acting the whole time. But as time went on and I was getting messages from everyone asking if I was OK … it became more and more real to the people in the room.”
According to Rawlings, Granados seemed paranoid from the beginning of class and mentioned the Las Vegas shooting.
“She was for some reason worried that people were in Vegas and may have been injured, and whenever someone would come in, she would be relieved that they were okay because they had come to class,” Rawlings said.
Brandon Kaufman, a freshman majoring in business administration, was in the same class as Rawlings and gave the same account.
Kaufman said five minutes into class, the instructor said she heard gunshots and ordered the students in the class to barricade the door.
“Eventually, she ran out of the room and there was a police officer that came at one point and she was like, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’” Kaufman said. “She eventually left the room, running out [and saying]: ‘Help, help, help!’”
The school went into lockdown shortly after 12 p.m. and the campus safety system sent out alerts, telling students and faculty to seek shelter as police came in to investigate. Alerts also said to avoid the downtown Los Angeles area.
But when police searched the campus, they found no signs of gunfire and no gunman. Less than an hour later, they gave the all clear and proceeded to further investigate the source of the teacher’s claim.
“It was reported a faculty member during class falsely told her students there was an active shooter in the building. The faculty member has been detained by the LAPD,” DPS Chief John Thomas said in an email to the Daily Trojan.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) October 2, 2017
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