The Norman Transcript

University

January 23, 2014

Report of campus shooting tests university’s emergency response system

NORMAN — Reports of gunfire on the University of Oklahoma campus Wednesday morning turned out to be a false alarm, but university officials aren’t complaining.

Officials said the incident showcased the efficiency of the university’s shooter response and evacuation plans, which faculty and staff have been reviewing recently.

President David L. Boren said a faculty member in the College of Architecture heard what she thought were gunshots. OU and Norman Police searched Gould Hall and found no evidence of a shooting. Boren and Vice President Nick Hathaway were on the scene within minutes.

“I didn’t hear anything,” said Tom Woodfin, landscape architecture professor in Gould Hall. “I was in my office, and I looked up and there was a uniformed officer carrying a rifle running toward the stairwell outside.”

Woodfin said somebody thought they heard gunshots, so they initiated the active shooter response team.

“It appeared that there were well-organized teams going room to room down the hallways,” he said.

Woodfin said faculty and staff had recently watched a training video about active shooters, so they knew what to do.

Dozens of OU and Norman police officers converged on the scene within minutes of the 11:15 a.m. call. Students, faculty and staff were alerted by text message and emails to avoid Gould Hall and shelter in place.

Police cleared Asp Avenue, north of Lindsey Street. As television helicopters circled overhead, broadcast crews began setting up live feed trucks near Lindsey Street.

After a search, it was determined that the disturbance the professor heard may have been related to ongoing construction of Scholars Walk. A backhoe was being used on the east side of Gould Hall along Asp Avenue. Construction equipment also was being used on the west side of the building along the South Oval.

“We know there is wide-spread interest in the incident that occurred today,” Boren said at an afternoon press conference. “At approximately 11:15, we received a call from the police department. I was able to immediately have the police send out the emergency text to put the campus on lockdown and begin evacuation of Gould Hall. A search has been carried out without panic.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
University
  • Union Market 9 Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital storytelling workshop to help tornado victims

    Looking for ways to make use of the University of Oklahoma Writing Center’s services in the community, the center has developed the digital storytelling workshop “Survivors in Motion” to help last year’s tornadoes survivors....

    July 16, 2014

  • Free concert to feature Corey Smith

    Corey Smith, born and raised in Jefferson, Ga., will heat up the summer scene with a free concert at 8 p.m. on July 18 at the University of Oklahoma....

    July 11, 2014

  • OU showcases family treasures exhibit

    An exhibit consisting of 12 panels with the best practices on how to care for items — including textiles and recordings such as cassettes and family videos — is on display through July 10 in Beaird Lounge on the second floor of Oklahoma ...

    July 9, 2014

  • Sam Noble Museum awarded reaccreditation

    The American Alliance of Museums in Washington D.C. awarded the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History reaccreditation in 2014 for the fourth consecutive time. Accreditation offers a wide variety of benefits, including increased ...

    July 5, 2014

  • Emotional Brain set as July’s Neuro Night Forum topic

    Improving neurological health through education, research and access to care will be the topic of July’s Neuro Night forum at 6 p.m. July 15 at the Fountains at Canterbury, 1404 N.W. 122nd St. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m....

    July 2, 2014

  • Foundation makes $500,000 gift in support of OU libraries

    University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced at the OU Board of Regents meeting that The Helmerich Foundation of Tulsa will make a $500,000 gift in support of the renovation of a floor in the Neustadt Wing of Bizzell Memorial ...

    June 25, 2014