"All-clear!" UA ends search for suspected gunman
Reporters: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Reports of a man with a rifle sent University of Arizona Police into swift action Friday. They put the campus on alert and began searching the Administration Building---the center of the threat.
UAPD says a 911 call shortly before 5pm, warned of a man with a rifle and another gun strapped on his chest. The caller said a shooting had happened, and asked, "Where are the police?"
Police used mass text alerts to warn students, faculty and staff.
At first police told people in the Administration building to stay in their offices, then officers helped evacuate the Administration Building, and the adjacent Modern Languages Building.
U A staff member Alison McCabe was in her office when she got the word: "…and they said lock the doors, hang out and then we got the call to evacuate the building."
She was still shaking as she remembered the terrifying moments leading up to police telling her to run from her administration building office.
"It's a little scarier you know in your office by yourself not knowing what's going on."
UA Junior Rachel McCluskey says she was trying to figure out exactly what was going on when she got a text alert and realized her sister once she realized her sister, a freshman, was inside the student union, just a short walk from the Administration building, she immediately called her parents.
She says, she reached her sister of the phone and heard her say, to her companions, "'Guys, guys we need to get out if here.' I'm sure he was with her friends or something like that and all of a sudden my heart was pounding an everything like that."
McCluskey says she finally got a text from her sister saying she was out as okay.
Shortly after 9pm, the same text system that sent the alerts, sent an all-clear. UA Police say they never found any evidence of a gunman. They're still investigating.
Campus shootings across the nation have university police departments prepared for what's called an active shooter situation.
The U of A used "U-Alert", a text messaging system.
Here is the timeline of the warning texts:
The first alert went out just after 5:00 warning campus of a man with a rifle in the administration building.
Then at 5:53, a message told those inside the admin building to leave.
At 5:55- police evacuated the nearby Modern Languages Building.
At 7:28- police opened campus back up- except for the admin building and the Student Union
Then at 9:09 they gave the all clear.