False Alarm Sends George Mason Campus Into Panic

August 22, 2019

The George Mason University campus on Tuesday received an emergency alert about a “person with a weapon,” and recipients were told to take shelter -- a message that turned out to be false and inadvertently sent by one of the college’s software vendors.

Nevertheless, the notification sent those who were on campus into a panic, The Washington Post reported. Fall classes had not yet begun at the Fairfax, Va., campus.

Spokesman Michael Sandler told the Post that no one at the university had sent the message and the software vendor that handles those alerts, Alertus Technologies, was to blame. The company did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

Student leaders were enraged by the mistake, especially since the university did not send a message correcting it until six minutes after the initial alert. 


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