03/24/2011 12:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

University Of Illinois Accidentally Sends Out 'Shooter' Alert Email To Students

Just one day after administrators at the University of Illinois approved a 6.9 percent tuition hike, those on the Urbana-Champaign campus received a terrifying message: there was an "active shooter" on campus.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's police department accidentally sent out a mass alert warning of an "active shooter" and telling students to escape the "area if safe to do so or shield/secure your location."

Just ten minutes later, however, U of I police Chief Barbara O'Connor sent the following message to those who received the original warning, according to the the News-Gazette:

PLEASE DISREGARD THE ILLINI-ALERT MESSAGE SENT REGARDING THE ACTIVE SHOOTER ON CAMPUS! The Illini-Alert message was sent accidently. We sincerely apologize for this accident.

The university also used its @Illinois_Alma Twitter account to notify students, faculty and staff of the false alarm:


The university press office told the Tribune a worker updating the emergency message template accidentally sent the message instead of saving it. Though it was corrected quickly, it scared quite a few people first: