All Clear After Police Respond to Report of Possible Shooter at Howard

Howard University, taken in 2016 (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, 2:47 p.m.: The Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed that all buildings have been cleared and Howard University’s campus is safe. No gunman was found.

Police and university officials are now left with the task of figuring out who called in the threats during Howard’s homecoming week, and why.


An MPD spokesperson, speaking to reporters, confirmed that several calls were made to the department claiming that there was an active shooter on the HBCU’s campus. Police stressed that the investigation was ongoing and they couldn’t yet confirm whether the calls were connected to recent threats against the campus.


Howard University President Wayne Frederick also spoke at the press conference, which was broadcast on the Metro PD’s Twitter account.


Frederick thanked the police for their swift response and said that the university would resume normal functioning Wednesday morning. When asked about concerns from students and staff that they didn’t receive enough notice of the active-shooter event, Frederick responded that the university did “the best we could with the information we had.” The university president said that five alerts were sent out to students and staff over a two-hour period.

“We certainly don’t want to miscommunicate as well,” Frederick added.

In a week when many alumni are journeying to the nation’s capitol to celebrate Howard homecoming, Frederick stressed that the “extremely important” event would be safe and that the campus would take all the necessary precautions.


Updated Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, 1:21 p.m.: Police are still sweeping Howard’s campus to verify reports of an active shooter. The university warned students and staff via Twitter to shelter in place as Washington, D.C., police search the campus’s buildings.

The university also confirmed that it was tipped off anonymously about a potential shooter on the campus earlier this afternoon.


D.C. police warned people to avoid campus for the time being.



Washington, D.C., police are investigating reports of an active shooter at Howard University. No shooting has been confirmed yet, but Fox 5 DC reports that police are responding to a call that came in at 12:05 p.m.


According to Howard’s newspaper, The Hilltop, the school’s administration building has been evacuated.

The Metropolitan Police Department has yet to provide any updates, but the department’s Twitter account advised people in the area to take precautions.


It’s homecoming week at Howard, and the HBCU is celebrating its 150th anniversary.


Read more at Fox 5 DC.

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Anne Branigin

Staff writer, The Root. Sometimes I blog slow, sometimes I blog quick. Do you have this in coconut?