FLORIDA — A number of schools in Florida have received hoax calls reporting of an active shooter, according to authorities. So far, police haven’t found any credible threats.
Schools affected by the calls include Pinellas Park High School in Largo, St. Petersburg Catholic High, Riverview High School in Sarasota and Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, along with some schools in South Florida.
All lockdowns have been lifted.
In an effort to crackdown on “swatting,” Florida passed a law last year, HB 371, reclassifying it from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony when a false report causes a response from an agency that exceeds $2,000.
If the false report results in injury, the charge goes up to a second degree felony, and if there’s a death, it’s a first degree felony.
Tampa Bay School Updates:
The Pinellas Park Police Department responded to Pinellas Park High School to a report of an active shooter around 12:22 p.m., officials with the department said. They said there are no known injuries, and the police department does not believe there is a threat to students or the community at this time. They will continue to investigate the origin of the initial report.
Officials with Pinellas Schools said that this was an apparent "swatting" incident and that children were evacuated out of an abundance of caution so rooms could be checked, and no students were harmed. No one from inside school activated the “active shooter” button, according to officials, adding that the call came in from outside the school.
The St. Petersburg Police Department tweeted that there are no active shooters are on the St. Pete Catholic Campus, and that this was a hoax. No children are in danger, officials with the department said.
ALERT: No active shooters are on the St. Pete Catholic Campus. This was a HOAX. No children are in danger. #stpetepd is on campus. Parents who want to pick up their child anyway should go to the shopping center at 9th Ave N. and 66th St. for more information.— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) October 11, 2022
Orlando School Updates:
Orlando Police tweeted that they did not have an active shooter at Dr. Phillips High School, and the call received into the 911 center was a hoax. The school was placed on lockdown as officers canvassed the area, and the campus is secure.
We DO NOT have an active shooter at @DrPhillips_OCPS. The call received into the 911 center was a hoax & the school was placed on lockdown as officers canvassed the area. The Orlando Police Department takes these incidents seriously & responded quickly. The campus is secure. pic.twitter.com/xnetZMgWrG— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) October 11, 2022
Additional Updates For Florida Schools:
Sarasota Schools tweeted that the lockdown has been lifted at Riverview High School, and law enforcement determined the threat was unsubstantiated.
The @Riverview_HS lockdown has been lifted. Law enforcement determined the threat was unsubstantiated.— Sarasota Schools (@sarasotaschools) October 11, 2022
Staggered dismissal will begin shortly. Bus riders will be first, followed by student drivers and lastly by all other students. Thank you.@SarasotaPD @SarasotaSheriff
The Sarasota Police Department tweeted that officers who were called to assist the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at at Riverview High School are leaving the area and that no threat has been found, no one was injured and the school has been cleared.
Officers with the Sarasota Police Department, who were called to assist @SarasotaSheriff & @sarasotaschools at Riverview High School, are now leaving the area. No threat has been found, no one was injured and the school has been cleared. https://t.co/DsJYY2ACYx— Sarasota Police Department (@SarasotaPD) October 11, 2022
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that they received a call about an active shooter at Riverview High School, and they have not received a report of any gunfire and believe this to be a “swatting” call.
The SCSO received a call about an active shooter @ Riverview High. We have NOT received a report of any gunfire & believe this to be a “swatting” call. We are treating this as an active shooter incident until proven otherwise. We expect to have the entire school cleared shortly. pic.twitter.com/PXtqmJl9WN— SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) October 11, 2022
The Davie Police Department tweeted that out of an an abundance of caution, Broward County Schools were placed in secure mode due to false threats of active shooters at several schools and that the calls have been determined to be false alarms. There are no threats associated with Town of Davie Schools, officials with the department said.
Today, in an abundance of caution, Broward County Schools were placed in secure mode due to false threats of active shooters at several schools. The calls have been determined to be false alarms. There are no threats associated with Town of Davie Schools.— Davie Police Dept. (@DaviePolice) October 11, 2022
Broward County Public Schools tweeted that all district high schools were placed on secure status out of an abundance of caution, while law enforcement investigated threats to various campuses. Official said the schools have been cleared at this time, and the threats are believed to be unfounded and schools have returned to normal operations.
October 11, 2022
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that a lockdown of Palmetto Ridge High School has been lifted and cleared, and confirmed that no active shooter situation or other emergency was found at the school, and all students and staff are safe.
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that they received a report of an armed subject at Eastside High School in Gainesville, and that numerous deputies responded and determined the report to be false.
We received a report of an armed subject at Eastside High School. Numerous deputies responded and determined the report to be false. Note: This is not just a local incident. Several agencies are reporting the same type of incident in various places.— Alachua Co. Sheriff (@AlachuaSheriff) October 11, 2022
“Swatting,” is when someone makes a false report to police to send first responders, including SWAT teams, to someone’s address or a business.