Police investigate swatting incident at Alter High School; Other Ohio, Kentucky schools report similar cases

Kettering police investigated a false report of gunfire outside Archbishop Alter High School that closed multiple schools and may be connected to similar swatting reports at other Ohio and Kentucky schools Wednesday morning.

The call came in around 8:43 a.m., Kettering police Chief Chip Protsman said.

Officers responded to Alter within a minute and started clearing the school.

“There was nothing found,” he said. “We know that this call was fake. There’s no concern for the school or the public whatsoever.”

Patrol officer Cynthia James, public information officer for the department, said investigators determined it was a “swatting” incident. Swatting incidents typically involve a prank call that requires a large number of emergency crews to respond to one location.

“It appears that a multitude of schools across Ohio and Kentucky also fell victim to a swatting call at around the same time this morning,” James said. “Our detectives are working diligently with federal agencies to locate and identify the caller, and to determine if the same caller is responsible for all of the swatting calls made across states this morning.”

Colerain High School in Cincinnati also dismissed students early on Wednesday following a swatting incident, according to WCPO.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Louisville office reported it responded to a Louisville high school on a report of an active aggressor.

“Louisville Metro Police Department has confirmed at this time there is NO active aggressor,” the agency posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “There are similar reports of calls being made to schools in Lexington, Cincinnati and Evansville.”

Kettering police released the 911 call that prompted the police response.

The caller claimed there was a student with a handgun in a classroom who shot six students in a classroom.

He said he was hiding inside a classroom at the school and had locked the door.

It was the only call dispatchers received reporting gunfire at the school.

Protsman stressed there were no shots fired and no active shooter at Alter.

“At no time was anybody in danger,” he said.

The incident prompted a lockdown at Alter, as well as St. Charles Borromeo School on Ackerman Boulevard and at West Carrollton Intermediate School at 4100 S. Dixie Drive.

All lockdowns have been lifted.

Alter Principal Lourdes Lambert students were released shortly after 10 a.m. to go home.

“As all of you know this becomes a mental health issue where they need to process and to send them back to class I felt would be irresponsible of us,” she said. “We do have counselors in the building to speak to them, but I know that they would want to go home and debrief with their families.”

She praised not only Kettering police’s response, but the school’s students, staff and faculty as well.

“No one ever wants it to happen, but we were prepared and the students did an incredible job today, as did the faculty and staff,” Lambert said. “But I can’t thank the Kettering police enough. Their response was amazing.”

Multiple parents went to Alter after receiving a one-call about the incident.

Carmelo Delgado said he was at work and asked his supervisor if he could leave.

He said he had been texting his son to make sure he was doing well.

Allison Shillito said her daughter texted her about the incident before the school’s one-call reached her.

“Instantly it made my stomach hurt,” she said. “I wanted to pick my daughter up.”

Shillito went to the high school to try and learn more about what was going on. She said police at the scene were able to give her information.

“I’m so thankful everybody is safe,” she said. “But it’s still very scary just to know all the kids are in there and who knows what they’re thinking.”

Lambert said it was a scary incident, but having Kettering at the school made her feel safe.

“I felt confident in the Kettering police and I felt very safe in their presence,” the principal said. “They came in through every door and really aided us in a way I could not have imagined.”

Protsman said the incident is under investigation and police are going to work trace the call.

He noted due to the increase in false school threats and false school shooting reports additional laws have been passed to increase penalties.

Police will work with the prosecutor’s office to determine charges for the person responsible.