ALLIANCE, Ohio -- A chaotic scene unfolded at Aultman Alliance Community Hospital on Thursday after someone called 911 to report an active shooter.
Fortunately, it turned out to be a false alarm.
Alliance police said the hospital was taking part in a drill. However, that information wasn't made known to officers until after they arrived on scene.
“It wasn’t a suspicious person. It wasn’t a male with a gun. It was an actual active shooter call, we have an active shooter,” recalled Police Lieutenant Bill Morris.
He said officers went floor to floor, assuming the worst.
Eventually, they were notified that the alleged gunman didn't exist.
“Normally and traditionally, when they do an in house exercise, they notify us a day or two in advance so we are aware of it,” he explained.
He said it appears some staff didn't know this was an exercise either, including the person who had originally called 911.
Aultman Hospital issued a statement about the incident on social media and praised officers for their quick response.
"This morning, as part of our annual NECO regional drill, a code silver was inadvertently called. The Alliance Police Department responded immediately and determined that there was no actual threat to the hospital. Kudos to the APD for their quick response and expertise in diffusing the situation. Safety remained a top priority, and at no time were any patients, visitors or staff in harm's way."
The hospital did not explain what caused the miscommunication with the police department.
As for Lieutenant Morris, he said he's just glad no one got hurt and believes it was ultimately good practice for everyone involved.