COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 24 hours after reports of an active shooter forced the Air Force Academy to be placed on lockdown, answers as to what caused the reports have still not been provided.
Saturday morning, the gates to the academy were once again opened to the public, and business returned to normal.
This came after the academy was locked down, in reference to reports of an active shooter in the dormitories on campus.
Text alerts given to CBS4 showed a notice was sent to students and staff on campus, warning them of the alleged active shooter roaming the campus.
However, at least one caller on campus reported it was not an active shooter. Rather, they reported it was a series of fireworks going off.
The story quickly reached international news sources, and was published on Twitter as a prominent news article.
Steven Needham told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas he first learned about the incident, when his daughter in Washington called him.
“(She) had heard about the possible shooting here, so she said, ‘when you go there, be careful,’” Needham said.
Both El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies, and Air Force law enforcement, responded to the scene. Both agencies worked to clear the dorm room-by-room, until the scene was cleared.
No evidence of injuries, or gunfire, was ever found.
“With what has been going on in the world, and especially the United States, it doesn’t take much (to spark a large response),” Needham said, “With the stories you’ve been hearing all over the place, you have to.”
CBS4 reached out to both responding agencies on several occasions to ask what caused the reports to file in, but never heard back from either department.
When contact was made with a member of the Air Force Academy public affairs staff, they said the media relations team didn’t work on the weekend.
They added, therefore, the public would have to wait until Monday to learn more about the response, as that was when the staff would be back to work.
With a lack of information, several of those visiting the academy told CBS4 they could only speculate what happened.
Needham wondered if it was all a prank.
“Maybe somebody was just fooling around, starting a rumor (and) goofing off,” Needham said.
Until answers are provided, Needham said he was just happy to know the reports were false, and nobody was killed.
“You just (have) to be thankful it really wasn’t (a shooting). And, I hope that some of the future ones won’t be either. That it will just be a story, or rumor,” Needham said.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.