A hoax at University of Virginia's College at Wise Wednesday evening led to fears of a school shooting after a student made a false report of a gunman on campus to local 911 dispatchers.
The UVA at Wise campus in the western Virginia town of Wise was put on lockdown amid the fear that rose from the initial reaction to the report, but by 10:30 p.m. the situation had been proven to be nothing more than a prank, according to reports.
The school issued a warning to students and faculty at about 9:25 p.m. Wednesday, according to the school paper, called the Highland Cavalier:
“Hunker down; gunman on campus,” the school wrote. At 10:06 p.m., the school followed that alert up with the following: “Lockdown continued. Alleged gunman on campus. Stay put! Lock all doors until further notice!”
The school's warnings and media reports about a possible gunman on the campus caused a brief online frenzy, as the term "UVA Wise" trended nationally on the Twitter social media site before the reports were proved to be a hoax.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said law enforcement officers conducted a thorough search of a number of buildings at the school and instructed bystanders to stay indoors before the hoax was exposed, according to the Highland Cavalier.
Special agents with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations interviewed the student who allegedly made the false 911 call during the time when the campus was on lockdown, according to WJHL News 11.