The University of Michigan said Saturday’s emergency alert may have stemmed from the sound of popping balloons on campus.
At 4:35 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) and local law enforcement received about 20 calls reporting shots fired on the second floor of Mason Hall on the Ann Arbor campus.
During these reports, a vigil was being held for those killed in the mosque attacks in New Zealand.
The university immediately issued an emergency alert to the students near Mason Hall telling them to “run, hide, fight.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies provided support including the Ann Arbor Police Department, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and FBI.
Officers began searching the building, which is attached to three other buildings.
During their search, officers could not find evidence of shots fired or an active attack.
At about 5:35 p.m., the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said did not appear to be an active threat at the university, but law enforcement continued to search the area to be completely sure.
DPSS issued the all-clear message at 7:50 p.m.
Police confirmed that balloon popping activity in the area took place where the gunshots were reported.
The university said there was no malicious intent behind the balloon popping.