Chicago Police confirmed they’re responding to an “incident” call at the Willis Tower in Chicago’s Loop on Wednesday afternoon.
When asked about the activity at the skyscraper, located at 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago Police Supt. During a news conference Wednesday, David Brown said officers found any reports of an active shooter unfounded.
“Not accurate reports of any quite active shooter — debunked it almost immediately. Taking excellent care and ensuring that there’s no other activity currently,” Brown said.
Brown added that in light of the county’s mass shootings, police “are taking every precaution,” following all normal protocols until ready to debunk a report.
Willis Tower management on Wednesday said in an email to those that work inside that the building “remains safe.”
“To all Willis Tower tenants, please be advised that reports of a lively shooter in the building are false.” There could also be a police presence in the building as we conclude this situation, but the Willis Tower remains safe,” the e-mail read.
No additional information has been provided at this point.
On Wednesday afternoon, uncertainty and fear were inside and out of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower.
One employee described the experience as “surreal within the moment, but definitely pretty frightening.”
Around 3:45 p.m., Chicago police reported an active shooter inside the building.
An officer was heard on police scanner traffic saying, “233 S. Wacker, caller states they got a call from the 50th floor saying they received a text message and there was a lively shooter on that floor.”
Responding officers were seen with rifles in hand.
FOX 32 Chicago spoke to 3 men who were among 40 people on the 45th floor. all of them piled inside a meeting room. They were inside for about half-hour, standing mostly silent — until an all-clear was given.
“We really just closed the door, tried to barricade space with a table, and put chairs on top of it. Everyone was pretty flustered.”
According to police scanner traffic, a politician said, “The men’s and women’s bathroom on the 50th floor….they found about 30 employees that barricaded themselves inside.”
Police and SWAT units were seen going floor to floor.
Three floors were evacuated. Chicago police eventually said the report of a shooter was unfounded.
With quite 300 mass shootings in the U.S this year alone, including seven killed in Highland Park only recently, Police Supt. David Brown says they’re taking every precaution necessary.
“We take all those threats seriously until we can debunk them,” Brown said.