USC Professor Detained for Falsely Reporting Active Shooter

Several students say the adjunct professor seemed agitated and distraught, making references to the recent Las Vegas mass shooting.

USC Professor Detained for Falsely Reporting Active Shooter

The professor was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.

A University of Southern California professor has been detained on a 5150 hold after instructing students to call police to report a nonexistent active shooter, leading to a campus lockdown.

Los Angeles police say the female professor was going through “some sort of episode” when she told students to lock the doors and get on the floor. She then started yelling about an active shooter, reports Mercury News.

USC student Christopher Rawlings says it was his instructor, Amy Granados, who falsely reported gunshots while teaching a business class in Fertitta Hall in the USC Marshall School of Business. Rawlings says Granados fled from the room, saying she was going to get help, according to the school’s newspaper.

“A lot of us were very hesitant about whether it was a drill or not,” says Rawlings. “I, for one, just thought it was a drill and that she was acting the whole time. But as time went on and I was getting messages from everyone asking if I was OK, it became more and more real to the people in the room.”

Rawlings says Granados, who is an adjunct professor of management communications, seemed agitated since the start of the class.

“She was for some reason worried that people were in [Las] Vegas and may have been injured and whenever someone would come in she would be relieved that they were okay because they had come to class,” says Rawlings.

Freshman Brandon Kaufman mirrored Rawlings’ statement, saying Granados seemed distraught over Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

At approximately 12:15 p.m., officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and USC campus police responded to a 911 call and searched the campus.

A SWAT team searched Fertitta Hall while helicopters hovered overhead.

Another student, Remy Porsella, says he heard screaming and saw people running out of the hall.

Department of Public Safety Chief John Thomas says the university issued a ‘police activity/shelter in place’ alert at 12:23 p.m. through its Trojan Alert emergency notification system.

Within an hour, LAPD officials confirmed that no shooting had occurred and the shelter in place was lifted.

LAPD Sergeant Mike Lopez says the professor was detained for a mental health evaluation.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to state that the faculty member was placed on a 5150 hold.

About the Author


Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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3 responses to “USC Professor Detained for Falsely Reporting Active Shooter”

  1. Don Bags says:

    Kudos to Campus Safety for reporting the professor’s name. No other major news outlet (CBS, WaPo, etc…) did so as far as I can tell. Nor did they publish a photo of her. Why did they purposely do this? Because she’s a minority? This happens a LOT.

    • Greg mactye says:

      Minority or not, my guess is that she’s a “snowflake” – i.e. a Millennial – who has no clue about the real world, is fearful of everything, gets upset whenever anyone disagree with her opinion, and believes the government should “take care of us” at all hours of the day and night. She sounds clearly unstable, and if USC doesn’t fire her immediately, they are just as complicit in this ridiculous situation. “Filing a false police report” is a serious criminal offence, which can easily lead to police officers being injured or killed while responding in good faith to nothing. My guess however, is that she is one of the “protected class” and that nothing will be done.

      • Hermann Meunster says:

        First, that really isn’t the definition of ‘snowflake’ when used in this context. Historically, the term was used to describe white people who opposed the ending of slavery; today, it refers to a conservative who is so ‘fragile’ that he reacts to every perceived attack on his beliefs. So millennial? No.

        Second, you seem able to derive a frightening amount of insight into the character of this faculty member based on the scant information in the report. Could it be that you are merely projecting your own prejudice – your own conservative ‘snowflakeyness’ – onto this woman?

        Third, if she is indeed ‘unstable’ in some way, then firing her immediately would not be the humane or responsible option for USC. When our fellow human beings are in distress, we do not kick them to the curb and move on; we help them.

        Fourth, I’m not sure what you mean when you say that filing a false report “can easily lead to police officers being injured or killed while responding in good faith to nothing.” If there’s nothing there, why would that situation be dangerous or fatal?

        Lastly, what do you mean by “she is one of the ‘protected class'”? Do you mean that she is a tenured professor? Or a woman? Or a member of a minority ethnic group? Whatever your meaning, the fact that you put the term in quotation marks makes it appear that you are using the term ironically, which kind of negates your argument.

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