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USC professor cries wolf about active shooter at the worst possible time

A University of Southern California professor raised a false alarm when she reported that an active shooter was on campus Monday. (Frederic J. BrownF/AFP/Getty Images)

A University of Southern California professor was detained by police for mental evaluation Monday after falsely telling her students there was an active shooter on campus, causing panic and a full lockdown of the campus.

The worst timing

There's never a good time to lie about an active shooter on campus, because that situation has been reality too many times.

But, with the entire nation in mourning and on edge after a tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, it seems especially cruel and appalling to alarm students, faculty, staff and their families with a false claim.

The Daily Trojan reported that the professor, Amy Granados, had seemed "distraught and upset" about the deadly shooting in Las Vegas. One student reported thinking that Granados was acting for a drill.

According to the Washington Post, an LAPD incident officer said Granados had "an episode."

Quick and encouraging reaction

If any positive can come out of this, it's that law enforcement officers reacted quickly and efficiently to assess and neutralize any potential threat.

Shortly after the alert went out, police were on campus, a SWAT team was searching the building in question, and helicopters were surveilling the scene overhead.

"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, the chief of the USC Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Monday evening. “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."

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