LOS ANGELES—A USC professor was detained after the false active shooter report and claims of gunfire prompted a campus wide lockdown and substantial response from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Monday, October 2.
After the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1, a second shooting was reported on the campus of USC. A massive police presence was visible on the college campus after USC issued an alert telling students to shelter in place at 12:23 p.m. Within about half an hour, police had verified that there was no active shooter. The LAPD tweeted, “No danger to community.”
After completing a search of a third-floor classroom in Fertitta Hall, a building of the business school where the incident was reported, John Thomas, head of USC’s Department of Public Safety, wrote in an email statement:
“It was reported a faculty member during class falsely told her students there was an active shooter in the building.” LAPD Deputy Chief Phillip Tingirides said, “the female professor appeared to have some sort of episode,” and told students there was an active shooter on campus. The woman, whose name department officials have repeatedly declined to release, was not booked on any criminal charges, but she was detained for questioning by authorities.
Officers with the school’s department of public safety let students return to classrooms around 2 p.m. In a statement released late Monday afternoon, USC Provost Michael Quick praised the rapid response from the LAPD as well as students, staff and faculty for their appropriate reaction to the alert before referring to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, which left more than 59 people dead and 527 people injured.