Oklahoma City University's text alert system was plagued by delays during Tuesday's lockdown

Shots were fired near Oklahoma City University on Tuesday evening, and many students, faculty and staff didn't receive a text alert until several hours later. OCU officials say they expect the university's text message warning system to be more effective the next time it's used.
by Silas Allen Published: March 14, 2013
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Shots were fired near Oklahoma City University on Tuesday, but many students, faculty and staff didn't receive a text message alert until several hours later.

OCU officials say they expect the university's text message warning system to be more effective the next time it's used.

“We have a solution coming,” said Gerry Hunt, OCU's chief information officer. “It unfortunately just isn't here yet.”

The campus was put on lockdown about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday after Oklahoma City police received reports of shots fired in the 1900 block of NW 29. University officials issued an alert through a variety of outlets, including email and text message notices.

Warnings also appeared on the university's website, Facebook page and Twitter account. The lockdown was lifted at 11 p.m. after police arrived at the scene and found nothing.

Although the email and text message alerts were sent at the same time, the text message alert reached some students immediately and others hours later.

Trevor Rush, an OCU senior, said he noticed a drastic difference in when he received the alert compared with when friends received the same notice.

Rush said he was sitting in his room about 10 p.m. Tuesday and heard about five loud pops coming from somewhere outside.

“It didn't sound like firecrackers at all,” he said. “It sounded like a gun.”

About a half hour later, he received a text message telling him the campus was on lockdown. Soon afterward, he received another message saying the lockdown had been lifted.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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