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University of Michigan students, campus police react to weekend public safety scare

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 18:27:21-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Monday felt like any other day on U of M's Ann Arbor campus, following a public safety scare over the weekend.

Sophomore Emma Green was on campus Saturday when reports of an active shooter came in.

"I was sitting by a window and I just saw like 200 people running," Green told 7 Action News.

Green was in the graduate library, not far from Mason Hall, where the reports were coming from.

“We were in the basement and everyone was on the phone with their parents, or crying, or like on the ground," Green says. "People were rocking back and forth. It was terrifying.”

Students were informed of the situation and instructed to "run, hide, fight" via email or U of M's public safety app. The reports of gun shots, according to campus police, turned out to be students popping balloons.

“There was over 20 phone calls that were received through the 911 and main dispatch centers," said Deputy Chief Melissa Overton with U of M's Division of Public Safety and Security. “When you receive multiple calls you can’t take that chance. Every second counts. And we were on scene within minutes."

Sophomore Tommy Corrigan wasn't on campus over the weekend, but received the alert on his smart phone.

“It was like kind of sad that obviously the first thing you jump to is an active shooter," he said.

Overton said protocol was followed Saturday, but that campus police are looking improve communication further. Some students who were stuck inside buildings weren't sure exactly what to do, she said.

Campus police will debrief Saturday's incident with other responding agencies in the near future.

Overton called it a great "dry run" for everyone on campus, on what to do in the event of a real emergency.

Campus police train for active shooter situations regularly.