Swatting at Wichita North HS possibly connected to similar calls nationwide
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Responding officers to Wichita North High School Thursday afternoon quickly figured out that the report of an active shooter was a false alarm and that no one was in danger. Now, the FBI is investigating after similar incidents of swatting calls happened this week, nationwide.
Before confirming the call was a hoax, Wichita police swarmed to North High. While the FBI is investigating if the situation locally is linked to a national trend, KWCH reporter Abbey Higginbotham spoke with Wichita school district leaders who expressed relief that all students and staff are safe. The false call at Wichita North High School sent some students into a panic.
“All of a sudden, a cop comes by and tells us to turn all lights out and just hide basically because there’s something going on in the school, but nobody’s actually telling us what’s going on,” North High School student Elle Warren said.
A school resource officer went to the classroom where the threat was reported and found no signs of activity. The officer soon gave an all-clear. There was not a lockdown at Wichita North High School.
“When to tell somebody when to take shelter or when not to depends on the situation and what that officer had for information at that time,” Wichita Public Schools Director of Safety and Environmental Services Terri Moses said.
What happened at Wichita North was not an isolate incident. Schools in Texas, California, Oklahoma Missouri and Kansas received false calls within about 48 hours, prompting the FBI to investigate. In a statement, the FBI said it’s aware of several swatting incidents and emphasized a false report prompting a heavy police response is a serious crime that puts others at risk. As of Thursday evening agents said they had no credible information on a specific threat as they’re investigation continues.
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