After two false alarms of an active shooter on the UT Tyler campus Thursday, faculty is temporarily disabling an emergency alert system app. Instant Alert Network malfunctioned twice today, leaving students feeling uneasy.
"It's like the Hunger Games. You're just running for your life," said UT Tyler student Carter Cornelius.
He said he and his classmates were taking a break in class when they saw the alert from the app.
UT Tyler alerted the campus at 12:42 p.m. from the Instant Alert Network app. Then, students said they heard what sounded like a gun shot.
"I almost know for a fact that had to have been a pistol shot, and I mean, it was so close," Cornelius said. "It was in the stairwell probably 15 feet from us."
After running outside to his truck, he fled to safety - leaving as fast as he could. He took around 15 classmates, and his teacher, to a nearby fire station to wait for the all-clear.
UT Tyler spokesperson Beverley Golden said the alert was a mistake sent out by an employee.
"It was an alert from one of our emergency apps," Golden said. "They responded quickly to determine that it was an accident."
She said the issuer didn't even know that she had done it. After the initial alert, reports of gun shots fired in the nursing building followed.
"It sounded like a gunshot to me. I think everyone knew. Even our teacher was like, yeah, that's a gun shot," said UT Tyler student Shauna Mathews.
Golden said police gave an all-clear to that, too.
Hours later around 5:30, the second alert came out indicating there was another active shooter, which turned out to be false.
Looking at the app's website, there are several safety features, including notifying emergency responders of your exact location and eliminating false alarms.
Despite these claims, there were two false alarms on campus within six hours. Just to be safe, Cornelius said he's coming to class prepared.
"I'll probably be carrying a weapon," he said.
Campus officials said the Patriot Guard Notification system will remain in place until.