Northwestern leaders update University community on emergency response procedure following Wednesday shooting at Clark Street Beach

Joanna Hou, Campus Editor

Content Warning: This breaking news story contains mentions of gun violence and death.

Northwestern President Michael Schill, Provost Kathleen Hagerty and Executive Vice President Craig Johnson acknowledged communication lapses to the NU community in a Thursday email. The University took more than 30 minutes to send a shelter-in-place order to students after shots were fired on Clark Street Beach Wednesday evening. 

In the email, the three said they have met with “key members of the leadership team” to discuss their emergency response and procedures. 

“Any situation that involves violence such as the shooting at Clark Street Beach last night creates confusion and fear,” Schill said in the email. “Our responsibility as a University is to communicate quickly and clearly, and to help you navigate the situation. We will continue to look for ways to improve on our response and will incorporate your feedback in this process.” 

The University is also reviewing its facilities after receiving concerns that certain buildings were “difficult to lock down,” according to the email. 

Many students said they received a phone message that said, “University Police are responding to a report of a blank on the Evanston campus at blank” about an hour after receiving a text alert to shelter in place. In the email, the administrators confirmed this was an error. 

The University also said the Evanston Police Department is leading the investigation into Wednesday’s shooting, but that the department has NU’s “full collaboration.” The NU Police Department will continue “increased patrols” of the Evanston Campus and the areas including and surrounding Clark Street Beach, according to the email. 

One 18-year-old person is dead after the shooting at Clark Street Beach. Two 15-year-old boys were injured. 

The University’s email provides links to mental health resources. Support spaces on campus are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Norris Alumni Room, 3 to 5 p.m. in Parkes Hall 204 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Zoom. 

“We appreciate how our community worked together in the face of this horrific tragedy,” Schill said in the email. “Last night’s shooting is yet another reminder that none of us is immune to violence, and that we can and must work together to ensure we are prepared.”

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