After lockdown, MIT to review police action, communications

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Officials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plan to conduct a review of police and communication actions during a report of an armed gunman on campus Saturday.

MIT said in a statement issued after Saturday’s incident and unfounded report that a text message alert asking students to stay indoors was sent to school community members just before 9 a.m., 1 hour and 24 minutes after the initial report about the alleged gunman was made.

“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,” MIT said in a statement.

A Cambridge Police Department spokesman said Sunday that there have not been any arrests and that detectives are following up on all available information.

Many colleges and universities have adopted various ways of alerting students to campus emergencies including through text messages in the aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Officials at Virginia Tech, where 32 students were gunned down by a fellow classmate, where criticized after that incident because it took two hours before a campus-wide e-mail notification was sent out after the first shots were fired.

The report of a man with a gun inside 77 Massachusetts Ave., which houses the school’s admissions office and other administration offices, came in through an electronic message, the school said.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information can contact Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300 or by anonymous e-mail or text at www.cambridgepolice.org/tips.

Timeline
A timeline of events from Saturday’s campus lockdown:
*7:28 a.m. Cambridge Police respond to MIT after receiving a report through electronic message that a man with a gun is inside 77 Massachusetts Ave.
*7:30 a.m. Cambridge and MIT police respond to the location and enter the building to start a search.
*7:43 a.m. The perimeter of the building and immediate area was locked down and secured.
*8:52 a.m. Members of the MIT community receive a “precautionary text message” asking them to remain indoors and shelter in place.
*10:30 a.m. After a room-to-room search by college, city and state police, authorities clear the building.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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