- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A University of Southern California professor was detained Monday after she suffered some sort of mental breakdown and falsely alerted students that there was an active shooter on campus, Los Angeles police said.

The university went on lockdown and a “panic” ensued after a female faculty member started yelling about an active shooter in Fertitta Hall, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Mike Lopez, The Mercury News reported Tuesday.

The false report came as emotions were already running high, after a gunman killed nearly 60 people and wounded more than 500 others at a Las Vegas country-music festival Sunday night.

Officers arrived at the Los Angeles campus about 12:15 p.m. Monday and determined no shooting had taken place.

The professor was detained and was being questioned to determine her mental health status, Sgt. Lopez said. It’s unclear whether she faces any charges.

The lockdown was lifted a short time later.

“In light of what happened last night in Las Vegas this was — it was great that we were able to respond to a situation threat as a real, live situation, but luckily it wasn’t,” Sgt. Lopez said, The Washington Post reported.

“Thanks to the rapid response of the USC Department of Public Safety and LAPD, we were able to quickly verify that there was no active shooter,” John Thomas, chief of the USC Department of Public Safety, said in a statement. “It was reported a faculty member during class falsely told her students there was an active shooter in the building. The faculty member has been detained by the LAPD.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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