Jan 24, 2023 - Politics

False alarm about active shooter at San Antonio City Hall

Photo illustration of the San Antonio city hall with lines radiating from it.

Photo Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of the City of San Antonio

City Hall employees received a text alert Monday morning about an active shooter, only to get an all-clear message shortly after, according to a copy of the alert obtained by Axios.

What's happening: The alert was a false alarm, police spokesperson Jennifer Rodriguez tells Axios. Someone activated the alert by accident, she said.

  • No one made a threat to prompt the message and there was never an active threat.

Why it matters: An accidental text message can still produce anxiety among employees who are running the city. It also uses police resources.

Details: City Hall was evacuated Monday morning, city spokesperson Alanna Reed tells Axios.

  • The text message came from InformaCast, Reed said, a notification system purchased by the city.
  • An employee with access to the emergency system through an app on their phone accidentally sent out the text message, Reed said.
  • The system asked recipients to respond with a number to let authorities know if they needed help, were safe in the building or safe outside the building.

What they're saying: The city took the false alarm seriously, Reed said.

  • "It was a good drill for us," she tells Axios. "But hopefully we don't have to activate it for any other reason."

Context: False alerts can create panic in an era when mass shootings are commonplace. Seven people were shot and killed Monday in Half Moon Bay, California.

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