Multiple Schools in New Hampshire, Montana Receive ‘Swatting’ Threats
Nearly a dozen New Hampshire schools received hoax threats, while several high schools in Montana were also swatted.
Schools in New Hampshire and Montana experienced a rash of hoax active shooter calls last week.
On Friday at about 9:30 a.m., the Billings, Montana Police Department received a report of a person with a gun at West High School, reports KTVQ. Officers were immediately dispatched to the campus to search the grounds and buildings, and the school was placed on lockdown. Nine minutes later, the school had been cleared and no suspect found. The lockdown was lifted at about 9:45 a.m.
Similar incidents happened at multiple high schools throughout the state, including in Bozeman, Helena, Red Lodge, and Forsyth, according to a statement by Billings School Superintendent Greg Upham.
The hoax threats, also known as “swatting,” involve the making of a prank call to emergency services (usually police) so a large number of police officers or the SWAT team will be dispatched to a particular location. The practice is dangerous and can result in police accidentally shooting innocent victims.
In response to the Billings incident, there was increased law enforcement presence in the city’s high schools and middle schools.
In New Hampshire on Thursday, nearly a dozen hoax active shooter calls were made to schools across the state, reports WMUR. In response, the affected campuses put their safety plans into action. New Hampshire requires schools to hold 10 safety drills per year, including one for armed assailants.
Although schools in Concord didn’t receive any swatting threats that day, school officials still put the campuses into soft lockdown and notified parents about the situation in the state.
Meanwhile, in Towson, Maryland, Baltimore County police announced on Saturday that two juveniles were responsible for the string of swatting calls made against Towson High School dating back to Thanksgiving, reports WBAL.
Over the past three weeks, threats came into the school warning that people with guns and explosives would come to the campus.
One of the teens arrested lives in Maryland, while the other lives in North Carolina. Investigators are looking into whether the two worked together. Authorities believe both were trying to implicate a third juvenile who was not involved in making the threats.
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