A report of gunshots on the campus of a La Crosse technical college drew an immediate response from heavily armed police officers who found the sound was nothing more than balloons popping during a class project.
Officers armed with assault rifles took up defensive positions around the Coleman Center at Western Technical College Thursday after a 911 call was received about shots fired in the building. Nervous students were evacuated from nearby buildings.
Police stormed inside with weapons drawn and searched room by room. Then officers found the class with the balloons and learned it was a false alarm.
The La Crosse Tribune said the incident reflects a heightened awareness of danger that may be the new normal on college campuses. Police and college officials say the response was appropriate given the nature of the 911 call.