NEIU Goes into Lockdown After On-Campus Shootout

On Wednesday, March 10, the Northeastern Illinois University campus in Chicago, Ill., was locked down after what police called a “shootout” took place in a campus parking lot. There were no reported injuries.

Chicago police officers on patrol in the southwest corner of campus reported hearing gunshots at about 9:35 a.m., said Sally Bown, spokeswoman for the Chicago police. She said that police arrived to suspects in two cars driving away. The officers pursued, but one car made a U-turn to double back past them, while the other escaped onto a different street. No one was taken into custody after the incident.

The campus was placed on lockdown, as the shooting took place near a childcare center and an on-campus dorm. The lockdown was lifted at about 11:45 a.m. after authorities determined that the suspects had left the campus area. Bown said that police did recover a weapon and drugs in the parking lot.

University President Gloria J. Gibson sent a campus-wide email to faculty, staff, and students after the lockdown. “Please know that no shots were fired by CPD or NEIUPD on our campus,” she said. “A weapon was recovered in one of the parking lots; however, the suspects were not apprehended. They have no known affiliation to Northeastern Illinois University.”

A university spokesperson said they are continuing to investigate and that they have stationed additional officers near The Nest, a nearby student dorm, and the childcare facility.

“Northeastern will continue to ensure our campus is secure,” Gibson said in the email. “While we are disheartened this incident occurred, we are extremely thankful that all members of our University community are safe and no one was injured.”

University officials also added that, during COVID-19, about 90% of NEIU classes are taking place remotely. Faculty, staff, and students come to campus only for classes, “essential work”, or for confirmed appointments for study spaces or other approved reasons.

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Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at

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