UPDATE: UM’s Division of Public Safety and Security issued an update at 5:34 p.m. saying: “There does not appear to be an active threat to the community. DPSS continues to investigate. Continue to stay clear of area.”
The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office issued a similar update at 5:35 p.m. saying: “There does not appear to be an active threat at UofM at this time. Reports of shots fired on campus are unfounded at this time. UofM DPSS continues to investigate and asks that you stay clear of the area.”
Police have received reports that there were girls popping balloons near Mason Hall and that may have been what initially scared some people, but nothing had been confirmed as of 5:50 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, MI – Amid reports of a possible active shooter on the University of Michigan campus, the university issued a “run hide fight” emergency alert at about 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16.
Police are investigating reports of a shooter at Mason Hall, 419 S. State St., and the undergraduate library at 919 South University Ave., and a later report of a shooter possibly on the move in the State Street area.
The incident unfolded following the Women’s March on the UM Diag, during a post-march vigil on the Diag for those killed in Friday’s mosque shootings in New Zealand.
“Unconfirmed reports of active shooter,” UM Public Affairs tweeted at 5:19 p.m. “Officers are in the area checking. Stay away from the area of Mason Hall.”
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, said he had just spoken at the vigil when police came through and yelled something and the crowd dispersed in a panic.
“The crowd just all at once turned around and started running,” said Rabhi, who took cover with many others, including other state lawmakers, inside the Hatcher Graduate Library.
“I see cops outside with assault rifles and stuff,” he said shortly after 5 p.m., adding he didn’t hear any shots fired.
Reem Khatib, a junior, 20, and Thomer Abuhalahwah, 24, who graduated two years ago, were at the vigil when they heard police yell to run, but not into Mason Hall.
They ran into nearby Tish Hall, where they found a professor who let them into a room until police made them come out with their hands in the air.
“Everyone just started running and trampling each other,” Khtaib said. “I don’t know. I’m just scared. I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Police are sweeping through campus buildings in search of a suspect and have received multiple reports of suspicious persons, including one described as a white male in a black trench coat.
This story will be updated.