Prank 911 call blamed for standoff near WIU in Macomb

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Updated:  A five-hour police standoff at a home in Macomb, Illinois was reportedly started with a prank call to 911.

The Western Courier reports the call came from someone outside the home in the 500 block of W. Murray Street.

The WIU Facebook page said police told university officials the caller said there was an armed person inside the house.

The street was sealed off and several homes were evacuated as a precaution.  A police robot was sent inside the home, and that’s when police discovered there was no one inside.

Police did not yet release whether they had identified the source of the 911 call.

WIU officials were also investigating after they fielded online complaints that some people received messages from the university’s emergency alert system late or not at all.

Original story Wednesday, March 6, 2013:

Western Illinois University officials are warning students tonight about situation unfolding off campus.

According to the university’s website, the Macomb Police Department took a call early Wednesday evening regarding a person with a firearm at a home in the 500 block of W. Murray Street. Homes nearby are being evacuated as a precaution.

Illinois State Police on scene say they are “currently gathering additional resources and information”.

The area has been sealed off as police respond.