Police say that the report of a gunman in a residence hall at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago was a hoax.

Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew says the call was a "swatting" in which someone calls in a false report in the hopes in prompting a police department SWAT team to respond.

Nobody was injured and Glew says the student who the caller reported had been shot by a boyfriend has been located and she is safe.

Glew says the call came from outside the Chicago region — southeast of Rockford in northern Illinois — and that the apartment that police responded to had been vacant since around Thanksgiving.


The call prompted Northwestern to urge people in the area to "shelter in a safe place and stay until further notice."

The report comes as students across the country walked out of school to protest gun violence.

Such calls can be extremely dangerous. In December, police who responded to such a hoax call fatally shot a man who answered his door in Wichita, Kansas.

- AP