Investigators say the man who sparked an armed intruder alert from LSU Tuesday was actually a law enforcement officer from the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, on campus to speak about crime.
Less than 24 hours after the ordeal, students say they are happy there wasno threat.Freshman Hannah Michal says all she could think to do in that moment was contact her parents.
“I thought that there was no way that this could be happening,” Michal said.
Hannah Michal sent her parents a text message letting them know that she was ok when she received the alert from LSU about an armed intruder inside a nearby building.
“They’re seven hours away so I wanted them to know I was safe and I love them,” Michal said.
Michal was inside of the Student Union when she received the message instructing people in the area to “run, hide or fight.”
“Everybody in the room was just like ‘that’s insane! Why would you tell someone to fight the shooter? [The shooter] can shoot faster than you can tackle them. It was crazy,” she said.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard explained, those guidelines are part of a National Homeland Security policy.
“Fighting is a last resort that the Department of Homeland Security has issued as the standard messaging for fighting off an active intruder,” Ballard said.
As bizarre as it sounds, Ballard said it’s for the protection of anyone in the area.
“You’re protecting your own safety and the safety of others. That person is there to do harm to the people in that room, so unfortunately as a last resort you have to do everything you can to try to fight off that intruder,” Ballard said.
Michal says her fears were for others as she stays locked down inside of the Union until the all clear came.
“I was genuinely afraid for my friends lives because I didn’t know where they were or what was going on with them,” she said.
When things returned to normal hours later, Michal says she is grateful that no one was harmed.
“I feel safer knowing that [authorities] reacted that fast and that if there was an actual shooter that that I would still be safe,” she said.
Ballard says safety is always a priority and urges all students, faculty and staff to sign up for all the University’s emergency messages to be prepared in case of an emergency.