(No) Shooting at NASA Glenn (Updated)


(Update, with reflection):
Well, that got intense for a minute there. After every news station in the city plastered up headlines — and aggregators followed suit* — about a gunman roaming the hallways and labs of NASA Glenn, it turns out . . . nothing happened. This is actually pretty hilarious.

Courtesy of Channel 5: today the folks at NASA decided to test the center’s security by issuing a test message to employees that there was a person with a gun on the grounds. One employee, however, didn’t listen to the message long enough to hear the “this is a test” part; she texted family members for them to call police.

Who’s to blame on this one? Well, we could start off with the Employee, who probably isn’t feeling to top-dollar right now. Yes, she should haven listened to the whole message before firing off distress calls. But the NASA administration has to take some of the flak here; they could have just issued a test message sans mention of a roaming gunman. Aren’t test drills just about going through the motions? When you did fire drills in school, the principle didn’t go out of her way to fill the hallways with smoke to build up strong case evidence that shit was going down and you needed to get your orderly ass out of the building in single file. Preparing for terror doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to create it.

And finally, the media: news organs** bear the blame here for throwing up a story without any verification. But hey, it's a slllloooowwww neewwssss dayyyyy, and in the era of the real-time story and 24-hour-cycle, the TV crews are always trying to outdo the competition. Consider this then an object lesson in newshound clusterfuck.


** But not aggregators, of course.

Update: Oops.

There’s little in the way of detail right now, but the news stations are reporting there’s been a shooting at NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park. 19ActionNews reports that the center is on lockdown following a shooting around 9:30 a.m. Police are currently searching for the shooter, who appears to still be on site. At 10:50 a.m. an “all-clear” was issued. Check back for more info.

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