Members of a sorority at the University of Michigan have apologized for causing panic after their team-building activity triggered a false active-shooter alert and campus lockdown two weeks ago.
According to an apology letter by the Ann Arbor chapter of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, they were popping balloons during a bonding event when people reported the noise, mistaking them to be gunshots.
— University of Michigan (@UMich) March 16, 2019
It was an unfortunate coincidence that the activity happened to take place at the same time as a campus vigil in memory of the New Zealand mosque shooting victims, Yahoo News reports.
“We are truly sorry to everyone who feared for their lives and had to experience the traumatic events of that day, especially to our fellow Muslim students and all those who were present at the New Zealand Mosques Solidarity Vigil,” read the letter published in The Michigan Daily on Sunday. “It is unacceptable to merely pass off our actions as a poorly timed coincidence. To do so would be to ignore the politically-charged atmosphere that day and the many serious events on campus that preceded the false alarm.”
The letter further noted that their organization is committed to educating its members about Islamophobia and standing in solidarity with marginalized communities on campus.
The school’s vice president for communications revealed in a statement that they received roughly 20 calls reporting shots being fired inside a building adjacent to the area where the vigil was being held.
Local authorities were immediately notified while members of the campus community were alerted so they can evacuate the area as soon as possible.
Yeah so apparently it was just some people popping balloons
— CelestialBodyChrisTimmis (@BodyTimmis) March 16, 2019
Officers from several agencies, which included the FBI, conducted a thorough search of the building. After it was determined that it was in fact just balloons from the sorority activity, the university issued the all-clear notice about three hours later.
Featured image via Instagram/umichakdphi