Police: ECU ALERT of armed intruder is false alarm

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - ECU Police said human error was to blame for a false tweet about an armed intruder on campus.

According to Lt. Chris Sutton, a police operator was undergoing ECU ALERT training when the person mistakenly tweeted that an armed intruder was reported in the Brewster building, causing the campus to be on lockdown. The false message was sent out at about 7:26 p.m. Monday and 117 people retweeted it.

Lt. Sutton said the police operator failed to click a box to prevent the test message from being sent.  The false alarm went out only on the ECU ALERT Twitter account, not on emails or text messages.

Police tweeted a correction about an hour after the false message was sent, Lt. Sutton said.

School officials said they are reviewing training practices for ECU ALERT. According to Lt. Sutton, police operators will be required to label practice tweets as "TEST MESSAGE."

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