False active shooter reported at 3 area high schools, including in Dayton

Hoaxes reported in Dayton, Springfield and Hamilton County

The Dayton Police Department was one of at least three law enforcement agencies that received an apparent false report of an active shooter at area high schools Friday morning.

Active shooters were reported at Belmont High School in Dayton, Catholic Central High School in Springfield and Princeton High School in Hamilton County. All three later were determined to be hoaxes.

Dayton officers were dispatch to Belmont High School at 2615 Wayne Ave. around 10:22 a.m. on a report of an active shooter in the school. They arrived on scene in less than two minutes and were inside the high school by 10:24 a.m., according to the City of Dayton.

“In addition to Dayton police response, Dayton fire responded in force, including medics trained to make entry with police as the building was cleared,” read a press release. “Multiple agencies, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, also responded to the scene.

The high school was put on a lockdown at 10:35 a.m., said Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. By 10:47 a.m., police confirmed the school was clear and safe, according to the city.

Lolli also reported all students and staff were safe in a statement released around 11:20 a.m.

“Authorities believe it was a hoax. Police reported this prank call also came in about non-DPS schools,” she said. “The safety of staff and students is our utmost priority.”

“The Dayton Police Department is aware of the trend for these types of false alarms and will be investigating the incident and attempting to identify the unknown caller,” read the city’s press release. “Chief Kamran Afzal stated he was extremely pleased with the coordinated and rapid response between Dayton Police and Dayton Fire.”

Springfield police confirmed they also received a similar report.

“Springfield police have received a call of an active shooter at Catholic Central High School,” read a press release sent shortly after 11 a.m. “This is a false call. Officers are on the scene and in the school. Dayton has received a similar call, which has also proved to be false.”

Sharonville police in Hamilton County said a report of an active shooter at Princeton High School also appeared to be a hoax.

Police gave the high school the “all-clear” around 11:25 a.m. and students were released to their parents.

Ohio State Highway Patrol and Licking County sheriff’s deputies responded to Licking Valley Local Schools in central Ohio Friday morning on “situation”, according to 10TV.

The Ohio School Safety Center announced Friday it is working with the Statewide Terrorism Analysis and Crime Center and local schools and law enforcement districts to investigate active shooter threats reported across the state and U.S.

“While some of the threats have been determined to be false through law enforcement investigation, the OSSC takes all threats to schools seriously and recommends that schools and first responders do the same,” the OSSC said.

The Washington Post reported more than a dozen Minnesota schools saw similar “swatting” events this week. Swatting involves making a false claim emergency responders to the location of the said incident, straining their resources. It sparks concern throughout communities, especially those that have previously endured actual active shooter and mass casualty incidents.

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