OXFORD, MS (WMC) - It was quick thinking that helped an Ole Miss student when an intruder was found in her apartment.
When the intruder was just feet away from her in the apartment, the Ole Miss student grabbed her phone, but she didn't call police. She sent a Twitter direct message to them.
"They opened my door and I realized I didn't know who it was," Shelby Howe said.
Howe said the Twitter message was a last ditch effort in an emergency situation.
Howe and her roommates woke up early Friday morning to the noise of footsteps and talking from a stranger inside their home.
Scary moments for the Ole Miss college students and they immediately locked themselves in their bedrooms.
"We both didn't want to call and make a lot of noise and him get flustered," Howe said.
They were scared that calling the police would frighten and alarm the intruder.
So, their quick thinking resulted in another option.
Howe grabbed her phone and went to Twitter. She sent the Oxford Police Department this direct message:
That message was read by Oxford PD Lt Hildon Sessums.
"I told her right away, we are on the way and I radioed out to the officer whose beat it was to head to that address," Sessums said.
He said it's the first time someone has direct messaged the Oxford PD Twitter in an emergency situation, but he did not hesitate to send an officer out.
When the officer arrived, they found the man passed out drunk in the house. They kicked him out.
Howe said she wasn't sure they would reply or not, but was hopeful.
"I didn't think they would reply. I was hopeful, but I didn't know for sure if they would," Howe said.
Now the situation has inspired the Oxford PD to look into an emergency text message line in order to give those in need a way to contact police.
"It could have been a potentially dangerous situation," Howe said.
The intruder in this case was charged with a misdemeanor and police said even though Twitter worked this time, it is best to call 911 in an emergency.