State-wide School Shooting Hoax Draws Police To Multiple Michigan Districts
Several schools and police departments in Michigan were on high alert Tuesday after multiple calls were made reporting school shootings. In all, at least six school districts were involved, and police responded.
The districts went into immediate lockdown as police arrived. Thankfully, all calls turned out to be a hoax. But it's still disturbing, and upsetting that his happened at all, and police are investigating.
According to an ABC News site in Saginaw, police were dispatched to Nouvel Catholic High School just after 10 a.m.
"Police were directing parents to St. Thomas Aquinas near Nouvel, but classes were not being dismissed as of 11 a.m."
Michigan State Police were also made aware of similar calls made to schools in Detroit, Jackson, Ann Arbor, and Okemos. All districts took the necessary precautions, and police immediately responded.
"Investigators say people calling in the hoaxes had a heavy accent, provided the school's name or address, and claimed they were a teacher there, and reported that a student had shot another person."
In some instances, police even say the caller provided a specific room number in the school where the shooting allegedly took place.
Unfortunately, State Police believe the hoax calls were a targeted, and coordinated campaign against K-12 districts in Michigan specifically, and aren't aware of any credible threats, or hoaxes, in any other states.
Only one school in western Michigan is thought to have been targeted in the state-wide "Swatting." Police in the Muskegon area say another report came in, claiming to be from the high school's administration.
Muskegon Police Chief Tim Kozal said it, too, was "a complete hoax," and told WoodTV the call likely came from an untraceable number, likely a Google number of a 911-only phone.
Below is a video from the Police Chief of the Meridian township where Okemos School is located, and his statements following the hoax.
UPDATE: 12:30 PM
An additional western Michigan school has been added to the list, bring the official number of schools affected now up to seven.
MLive reporting that Portage Police were also targeted in the state-wide school shooting hoax, but that police immediately disregarded it as a false claim.
"A call came in around 9:35 a.m. (Tuesday) to the Portage Department of Public Safety, saying shots were fired at Portage North High School... Police were at the high school within 90 seconds, (Deputy Director Jeff) VanderWiere said. They knew the shots fired report was false about 30 seconds after that by talking with school officials."
The FBI and Michigan State Police continue to investigate where the calls are coming from, and why just Michigan Schools are being targeted. Meanwhile, school officials are praising law enforcement, and administrations for their response.
“I have to give the school a lot of credit as well, working alongside law enforcement, in terms of that response time and being able to check the site quickly and work alongside these guys to discredit the claim,” Portage Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Michael Pascoe said.