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Call about armed woman in Puyallup was ‘false alarm.’ The police response was real

Puyallup police respond to a possible shooter report at Good Samaritan Behavioral Health in Puyallup Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Police said there was no evidence of a shooter or victims.
Puyallup police respond to a possible shooter report at Good Samaritan Behavioral Health in Puyallup Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Police said there was no evidence of a shooter or victims. jbessex@gateline.com

It was all a misunderstanding.

There was never an active shooter at Good Samaritan Behavioral Health and there was never an armed woman in the parking lot.

Turns out someone “inadvertently activated” the active shooter alert in the building, according to Puyallup police.

Some employees and patients hunkered down in the facility while others dashed outside.

In the confusion, someone mistook a woman holding her cell phone — she was trying to dial 911 to report the incident – for a woman armed with a handgun.

Those two misunderstandings brought a swarm of police from seven other law enforcement agencies to the 320 block of East Pioneer Avenue.

Four nearby schools were placed on lockdown.

Officers checked the building room by room while others searched the neighborhood for any sign of a possible shooter.

Eventually, police announced there was no sign of a shooter or any gun and left the area.

They found the woman who called 911 (the one mistaken for carrying a gun) at the Puyallup Library and discovered she’d only had her cell phone in hand.

“Although it was a ‘false alarm of sorts, the community should be extremely proud of the response from everyone today,” Puyallup police wrote on its Facebook page. “Today was a great example of all things going right and getting the job done.”

All on-duty officers, including the chief, responded to the scene.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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