Sheriff’s Office: No evidence of active shooter on Pfeiffer campus

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, March 24, 2022

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Following an unconfirmed call about an active shooter at Pfeiffer University’s Misenheimer campus Thursday afternoon, no evidence of a shooter was found.

Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, along with Misenheimer Police and multiple agencies within the county, searched the campus, which was cleared of students and staff who were on lockdown, according to Sheriff Jeff Crisco.

“We could not find anything that led us to believe that there was an active shooter at Pfeiffer,” Crisco said, noting that all the students and staff are safe.

A phone call came in to the Misenheimer Police around 1 p.m. about an active shooter, said Casey Habich, director of marketing and communications for the university, according to a conversation he had with Misenheimer Police Chief Erik McGinnis.

Shortly after, the university was placed on lockdown at around 1:15 p.m., Habich said. Several local businesses and Gray Stone Day School were also placed on lockdown.

Police investigated every building on campus and found nothing indicating the presence of any active shooter. There was also no sound of gunfire, according to Habich.

Once every building on campus had been cleared, the lockdown was lifted at 2 p.m., Habich said.

Crisco mentioned First Bank in Richfield had been robbed around the same time of the alleged active shooter situation, but he could not say whether the two were related.

“Everybody initially went to the university and as that was happening, then the bank robbery call came in so we’re just now starting the true investigation at the bank,” Crisco said.

He could not speak to whether any money was stolen but said no shots had been fired. No bank employees were injured.

Pfeiffer’s response to the incident 

In a statement from Pfeiffer President Scott Bullard posted on the university’s website shortly about the incident Thursday afternoon, he noted how thankful he was that “this situation was not worse and that we are all safe.”

“Although there was no evidence of a legitimate threat to our campus, the response was very real,” he wrote. “The emotions we felt during our brief lockdown were real. The text messages and phone calls to our loved ones were real. As we attempt to understand our experience better, may we always be reminded of the good in our lives and appreciate each day.”

He said that in the days to come, Pfeiffer will review and evaluate its response to the event. To help improve the campus response to any future incidents, Bullard encouraged all students and staff to download and utilize the LiveSafe Mobile app, the primary channel to communicate emergencies and alerts through text message, email, and push notifications.

“Thank you for looking out for one another and sharing our commitment to safety and truthful communication,” Bullard added. “As we look forward to a new day, we are grateful to be together again tomorrow.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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