BOSTON (WHDH) - A hoax call caused a significant disruption on the Boston University campus on Friday morning, shutting down Commonwealth Avenue as emergency crews were convinced they were dealing with an active shooter situation on the campus.
Authorities said a call came in at around 8:30 a.m. from a person claiming he was barricaded on the fourth floor of the Mugar Library with guns and explosives and had taken a hostage. The caller said he was in Room 420.
Officials said the caller called back shortly after the initial call to say that he had shot the hostage.
Police said that while they have received a number of robocalls containing threats over the past couple of years, the fact that the call came from a real person made the incident appear more genuine. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said similar incidents around the country also made police take the threat seriously.
Authorities worked quickly to secure the area, closing Commonwealth Avenue at the Boston University Bridge and scrambling Boston University Police, Boston Police, and State Police units. Police and bomb squads swept the entire building before determining the incident was a hoax.
In a news conference shortly after the incident, officials said the caller had an accent but could not determine what type of accent. They said the call came from a blocked number.
Police recorded the phone call and said they are actively attempting to trace the caller.
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