Concordia University, River Forest | F. Amanda Tugade

Operations have returned to normal and classes were to resume at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 19 after Concordia University in River Forest was placed on soft lockdown and students were told to evacuate to the football field after officials received a message indicating there might be an explosive device on the campus.

The university tweeted this message from its official Twitter account at about 9:30 a.m.: “EMERGENCY! Officers are responding to a problem on the main campus. Calmly evacuate buildings and proceed to immediately to the football field/track.”

River Forest Police Chief James O’Shea said his officers responded to the campus and that personnel from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police bomb squad also had been requested to respond to the campus at 7400 Augusta St.

O’Shea described the message that came to the university as possibly a cyberattack that mentioned ransom and an explosive device on the campus. Grace Lutheran School, which is located on the Concordia campus and the university’s early childhood center were also placed on soft lockdown, O’Shea said.

The soft lockdown was not extended to any other school in River Forest, and O’Shea said, “The threat level is considered very low.”

“The university is going through their protocols and we’re assisting them,” O’Shea added. “The police response has been very localized based on the information we have.”

The university followed up with another tweet at 10:40 a.m., announcing the situation was “all clear.”  

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