Police find no evidence of gunman reported on campus

Authorities expect to investigate Saturday morning tip that prompted an all-campus alert.


Authorities found no evidence of a gunman reported to have been on the MIT campus on Saturday morning. Their search was prompted by a tip to the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), which is now calling the incident a “false report.”

The report came via an electronic communication at 7:28 a.m. Two minutes later, MIT Police and CPD officers responded to 77 Massachusetts Ave., the location where a male gunman had been reported. A high number of officers immediately entered the building to search for any possible suspects. A thorough search of the building was conducted and a perimeter was quickly established for the purposes of securing the immediate area. The perimeter of the building and immediate area was locked down and secured at 7:43 a.m.

The MIT community was sent a precautionary text message at 8:52 a.m. asking them to remain indoors and shelter in place. At approximately 10:30 a.m., following an exhaustive room-to-room search by MIT Police, CPD, and Massachusetts State Police, the CPD sounded an all-clear.

“No armed suspects were found in the building or on campus and police believe that the event, as reported, did not occur,” according to a statement by the CPD.

CPD and MIT Police detectives are now actively investigating the report and are following up on all possible leads. The investigation remains ongoing at this time. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300.

The MIT Police will continue to closely monitor the campus, but at this time MIT has returned to normal operations.

At the conclusion of the ongoing investigation, MIT Police and other parts of the MIT administration will, as part of standard operating procedure, conduct an after-action review of MIT’s police and communications actions during this event.

All members of the MIT community who feel affected by today’s developments are encouraged to contact Mental Health Services at 617-253-2916.

“This kind of event can be very upsetting,” said Alan Siegel, Chief of MIT’s Mental Health Service. “We at MIT Medical are prepared to offer support to anyone who’d like to talk.”

Editor's note, February 28, 2013: On Feb. 27, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz wrote an email to the MIT community that offered further information, as well as his thoughts, about this incident.

Topics: Cambridge, Boston and region, Campus emergency, Community, Faculty, Police, Staff, Students

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