The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

February 24, 2013

Authorities: Report of gunman at MIT was a hoax

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A false report of a gunman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that briefly caused a campus-wide lockdown Saturday stemmed from an electronic message sent to police, authorities said.

Officers searched for a man reported to be carrying a long rifle and wearing body armor but found nothing unusual, Cambridge police said. The report — that alleged the gunman was barricaded inside a building on campus — turned out to be a hoax, and there was no threat to public safety, state police spokesman David Procopio said.

Cambridge police received the tip in an electronic message around 7:30 a.m., but witnesses on the scene eventually contradicted it, spokesman Dan Riviello said. Neither police nor MIT specified how the tip was received, though the police department’s website says anonymous tips may be made via text message or email, in addition to a telephone hotline.

“The MIT community was sent a precautionary text message at 8:52 a.m. asking them to remain indoors and shelter in place,” the university said in a statement issued following online criticism over the delay in alerting the public that a gunman was possibly on campus. It did not explain why it took more than an hour to issue the alert.

A room-to-room search by MIT and Cambridge police, along with state police troopers, led officers to declare that the scene was clear at about 10:30 a.m., MIT said.

“No armed suspects were found in the building or on campus and police believe that the event, as reported, did not occur,” according to a statement by Cambridge police.

Investigators are trying to identify the prankster and will pursue criminal charges if they do, Riviello said.

He declined to provide additional details or confirm reports that the IP address used by the prankster has been traced to New York, saying the investigation continued.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • U.S.: Russia firing across border

    KIEV, Ukraine — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Small holes cause big jitters

    SEOUL, South Korea — For the developers of the world’s sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Secret photo victims must describe trauma for case

    BALTIMORE — Thousands of women whose genitals might have been photographed during gynecological exams can share a $190 million settlement from Johns Hopkins Health System. But they’ll have to describe their trauma before seeing any money. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Worries about U.S. consumers drag stocks lower

    NEW YORK — Investors got some bad news about the American shopper on Friday, driving down stocks and sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a loss for the week. Two major U.S. companies — the retail giant Amazon and the credit card ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Hong Kong firms on edge as democracy rally blockade looms

    HONG KONG — As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst. Chan’s investment company has added ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in the Netherlands

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Doctor fired back at gunman

    DARBY, Pa. — A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said....

    July 25, 2014