“All Clear” at Simmons after False Alarm about an Active Shooter
Were popped balloons to blame for the panic?
A report of an active shooter at Simmons College was quickly called off on Thursday as authorities issued an “all clear” in the area.
The school warned students via emergency text message after 2:30 p.m. to avoid the area or remain barricaded indoors while police descended on the school’s Fenway campus. Other area schools, including Northeastern, MassArt, and Emmanuel, also warned students of a possible incident before the all-clear came through.
Looks like there may be an active shooter situation at Simmons College? This text is the only thing I’ve heard so this is completely unverified pic.twitter.com/rifoWmVVtK
— Patrick Lindsey (@HanFreakinSolo) October 4, 2018
NU ALERT: Police activity reported off-campus near Simmons University. Avoid the area. Emergency personnel responding.
— NU Emergency Mgmt (@NortheasternOEM) October 4, 2018
Simmons College just issued an ALL CLEAR.
“Emergency condition is OVER” pic.twitter.com/TMSVfcsZZx
— Capturegirl (@jenyp) October 4, 2018
Simmons said in a follow-up statement that a student reported the sound of gunfire to police at around 2:36 p.m., but authorities do not believe any shots were actually fired.
NEW statement from Simmons University about earlier “active threat” on campus.
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) October 4, 2018
There were early and unconfirmed reports that the panic may have been caused by the sound of popping balloons, which were mistaken for gunshots—at least, that’s what police were saying to one another on their scanner, listeners said in several tweets.
Just heard on the #Boston police scanner – “looks like they were popping balloons behind BLS”…. could have been what caused the scare near Simmons College.
— Scott Eisen (@scotteisenphoto) October 4, 2018
— Abbey Niezgoda NBC10 Boston (@AbbeyNBCBoston) October 4, 2018