Oklahoma News
12:54 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

SLIDESHOW: No Evidence Of Shots Fired At OU

Updated at 2:06 p.m.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says a joint tactical force comprising Norman and OU Police have found no evidence shots were fired on the campus Wednesday morning.

Boren says a faculty member in Gould Hall heard what he or she thought were the sounds of three shots fired around 11:15 a.m., and immediately called police. Boren said the sounds could have been related to construction projects near the university's architecture building.

"No one saw anyone who was described as being a potential shooter," Boren says. "It seems more likely that there were other sounds that the person heard that could've sounded like shots."

Boren said the faculty member did "exactly the right thing" by calling police. Boren was meeting with Architecture Dean Charles Graham in Gould Hall at the time of that call, and ordered an emergency text message alerting students, faculty and staff to the situation within a few minutes.

"Everyone in the country, virtually, is sort-of on alert, if you want to say, that are in schools and colleges and universities, because of these incidents across the country," Boren said. "To me, the greatest protection that we can have is a quick alert."

Boren also addressed ongoing debate over proposals to allow individuals to carry weapons on college campuses to respond to possible shootings, saying he thinks it's "the most unwise thing in the world we can do."

"First of all, when the SWAT team comes to a building, and are trying to protect our students, how do they know whether it’s a good person or a bad person, or what their intentions are, if they’re waving a gun in the air?" Boren said. "I feel such a sense of responsibility to the safety of our students that I am strongly, I can't say how strongly, I am opposed to arming people and putting guns in the hands of people who don't have specialized training to respond to this kind of incident."

The school had posted a notice on its website earlier Wednesday saying there had been reports of a shooting and that people should avoid Gould Hall, which is near the center of campus. A Twitter post said: "Seek immediate shelter in place.''

KGOU's Kate Carlton was in Gaylord Hall, OU's journalism facility immediately south of where the shooting was reported, and says she was rushed to an auditorium with roughly 100 students to wait for more information. She says Boren then walked in and told them to resume their days as normal.

Local police said they had no independent confirmation of a shooting but sent up to a half-dozen officers to the campus, which is about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Norman Police Capt. Tom Easley said five to six of the city's officers went sent to the school to assist campus officers. Medical teams and the fire department were placed on alert but Easley said "we have no confirmation of anything.''

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