Police find no evidence of active shooter at Coles County businesses | Accident-and-incident

Police find no evidence of active shooter at Coles County businesses | Accident-and-incident

CHARLESTON — Reports of an active shooter Wednesday at two Coles County businesses were unfounded, police said.

Charleston police Lt. Joel Shute said it appears there was a miscommunication when a false report of a man with a gun was made at Mars Petcare in Mattoon. It was there that a person said they saw an individual with what was originally thought to be a gun but later confirmed to be pest control equipment. That incident occurred at 10:51 a.m.

Shute said the situation then turned into a rumor that an active shooter was at Vesuvius in Charleston. Dispatched to the businesses at 11:23 a.m., Charleston police, Mattoon police, Oakland police, Eastern Illinois University police and members of the Coles County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search of the Vesuvius building and determined there was not an active shooter on the property.

A Vesuvius employee later described a safety officer telling people to exit the building. Questions about it being a possible drill were answered when they got outside and saw police.