Unfounded reports of ‘shots fired’

March 16, 2019

Saturday afternoon, the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security and local law enforcement partners received as many as 20 calls reporting shots being fired on the second floor of the Mason Hall building, adjacent to the central-campus Diag. There also were additional reports from the area of the Diag.

The reports came in at 4:35 p.m., during a vigil on the Diag for those killed yesterday in the mosque attacks in New Zealand.

DPSS immediately issued an emergency alert to the campus community and officers already in the area of the Diag immediately went to Mason Hall to investigate. Those on the Diag were directed by law enforcement personnel to leave the area.

Additionally, officers from several agencies, including the Ann Arbor Police, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and FBI provided support.

Officers began a careful and thorough search of the building, which is attached to three other buildings.

DPSS issued updates on the emergency alert while the search process continued, but there is no question that incorrect information was being shared throughout the community outside of DPSS channels. It is important to closely follow DPSS on these matters and to make sure you are signed up for the U-M emergency alerts.

Throughout the building clearing process and investigation, officers found no evidence that there had been any shots fired or active attack.

To make absolutely sure, DPSS continued its thorough search and did not issue the “all clear” notice until the search process was complete. The all-clear message was issued at 7:50 p.m.

Officers were able to confirm a report of balloon popping activity in the area where the sounds of shots fired were reported to have been heard. Preliminary information indicates that the activity was not the result of malicious intent.

This was a traumatic day for many and we want everyone to know about these important resources that are available to the campus community:

Our campus offers resources to all students through CAPS, the university’s counseling and psychological services at 734-764-8312. Faculty and staff can receive support through the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (734-936-8660) or the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience (734-763-5409).

There also will be a gathering space in the Michigan League Underground Sunday for students to be in community with one another. CAPS counselors will be present 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Message from the DPSS Executive Director regarding Emergency Alert (March 17, 2019)