False Alarm Sends Out Active Shooter Announcement, Causes Panic

A power outage triggered an active shooter announcement Nov. 27, briefly panicking students, faculty and staff.

At about 2:30 p.m. the fire alarm panel in the Campus Safety Office malfunctioned, sending a pre-recorded emergency message into some classrooms that warned about a “disturbed individual” on campus.

The audio alert notified students and staff to either leave the campus, hide or prepare to fight. Many students ran to classrooms or to the parking lots. Others stayed in place out of shock and uncertainty, unsure if the news they were hearing was true.

“An announcement went out saying get away from windows and doors and find a classroom. I locked myself in the restroom and stood on the toilet thinking ‘this is it…today is the day I don’t make it home,” one student posted on social media after the incident.

At 2:35 p.m. campus safety officials made an audio announcement saying that the alert was a false alarm. An active threat would have triggered emergency notifications delivered via email and text as well, SAC President Linda Rose said.

RSCCD Campus Safety and SAC Administrative Services are now working to ensure that a power outage does not trigger false alarms again.