Utah (ABC4) — Active shooter hoaxes that plagued 13 schools in Utah came from the same individual and phone number from outside the U.S., according to the Utah Dept. of Public Safety.
Wednesday morning, officers took their places at numerous schools after getting reports of shots being fired, however, these calls all came from the same number and were reportedly hoaxes.
According to Hillary Koellner, Utah Dept. of Public Safety Director of Communications, the phone number used to call 13 schools to falsely report an active shooter was traced to a foreign IP address.
So far only Ogden High, West High, Spanish Fork High, Provo High, and Box Elder High are confirmed as victims of the hoaxes. Each of those schools was locked down, and surrounding schools were also locked down as a precaution, such as Maple Mountain High, which is located in Spanish Fork.
Ogden School District posted about the active shooter threat on Twitter as it was unfolding.
“We understand the concern of parents, please understand the obligation to support law-enforcement response in their precautionary protocol,” stated Ogden School District on Twitter. “Please do not come to the school. Repeat, do not come to the school. Students will not be released until police have cleared the building.”
According to Utah state law, calling in fake school shootings is punishable as a misdemeanor, however, this is across international lines, and officials have not released information on what punishment the caller may face if they are able to find them.
“Multiple hoax calls have claimed active shooter situations in various schools throughout the state,” stated a release from the Utah Dept. of Public Safety. “These calls are taken very seriously and are immediately looked at by law enforcement agencies.”
Today’s school shooting hoaxes were allegedly the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Nashville Christian school, where three teachers and three children were killed. According to officials, schools across the nation have reported similar activity in the last few days, including schools in Kansas and Pennsylvania.