NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – It was a frightening Friday night on the University of Oklahoma in Norman as an active shooter alert was sent by university officials.
Around 9:25 p.m. the first of several alerts were sent by OU tweeted:
“OU-Norman Emergency: There is an active shooter at the Van Vleet Oval. Take immediate action now. Run. Hide. Fight!”
University of Oklahoma Police Department Chief Nate Tarver said well over 100 emergency responders from different agencies rushed to secure campus.
As alarmed students took shelter campuswide, a fleet of agencies, including the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, searched for an active shooter.\/ima
“No threats were found,” University of Oklahoma Police Chief Nate Tarver said. “We did a thorough search of the library and the adjacent area and found no threats, no evidence that any shooting had occurred.”
Thankfully, they report no threats were found, but the hour-and-a-half of uncertainty before the “all clear” won’t soon be forgotten, said Tarver.
“Our message is to be comforted in the fact that if something were to happen, that we will respond and can respond in a rapid manner,” Chief Tarver said.
At about 10:53 p.m. the university gave the official “all clear” that campus was secure.
Now, they investigate what exactly happened that led to the chaos. The chief addressed the possibility of a party popper possibly being confused for gunfire.
“There’s some confetti that’s out in front of the campus, in front of the library,” he explained. “We will look at our video and see possibly when that may have occurred, if we have a camera angle for that. So, that’s a possibility, but we can’t confirm if that was the cause or if that was the issue.”
Tarver also touched on the current national climate of fear of school shootings.
“Everyone’s on pins and needles, obviously, and they should be,” he said.
He’s ultimately grateful for how the Friday night scare at OU ended.
“At this point in time, we are very impressed and very proud of the way that we responded,” he said with relief. “We’re very glad that there are no casualties or no injuries to anyone.”
Chief Tarver said in the coming days they’ll be evaluating their response to the active shooter threat, assessing if there’s anything they could have done better or need to add for future responses.