A prank phone call triggered fears of a mass shooting at East Central High School on Monday morning, disrupting classes and prompting a major law enforcement response.
The caller made a vague threat to the high school around 9:30 a.m. Superintendent of the East Central Independent School District, gunfire could be heard in the background of the call, raising concerns that a shooting was taking place.
The school was promptly locked down. Deputies from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and policemen from local police departments responded in force. The school was evacuated, and police searched it room by room. They discovered no trace of a gunman or proof of rounds being fired.
“We believe it was a hoax,” stated Sheriff Javier Salazar. “A student’s name was given initially, but we have that student accounted for.” He is being held several miles away from the school, but we don’t know for certain that the youngster was involved. We only know he didn’t show up to school today.”
East Central ISD stated it had “reason to believe” the hoax call was made from outside the U.S. — the statement did not indicate where — and that it “was intended to produce panic at East Central HS.
The statement made no mention of the pupil Salazar claimed to have been held. The district reported that while police were searching the campus, word arose throughout the school that a kid had been stabbed.
Many parents learned of a possible security concern at the school from a sheriff’s office announcement put on Facebook around 10 a.m. It alerted the public of a heavy law enforcement presence at the school in response to a disturbance. The post provided no information about the nature of the incident.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office stated, “The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is responding to an incident at East Central High School. There will be a heavy law enforcement presence responding to this disturbance. Parents will receive and update from BCSO and the school district shortly. There will be heavy congestion in the area with the responding units. We will update this post as soon as possible as we have more information on the incident.”
Classes resumed after the campus was searched and the threat was confirmed to be unsubstantiated. Parents, however, were given the option of picking up their children early. They were asked to park at or near Gym 3 and go to the school’s Patterson Center for the Performing Arts.
Parents were advised to bring identification and to “be patient.” We want to verify that the student is going home with the correct parent.
If this was done intentionally, I hope the person or persons responsible understand the sheer fear and panic that it creates among students, staff, and families. We appreciate the rapid response and the coordination, but the fact that it is coming as a result of a hoax is very disheartening.
The threat prompted a lot of fear, panic, and anxiety that was unnecessary. It affects lives, it affects people and it’s not OK.
We will keep you updated with all the latest information until then stay tuned to our website bulletinspot.com.