Local school students are safe and are being watched over by law enforcement across the county “out of an abundance of caution” after false reports of active shooters and casualties were called in.
Parents began to panic on social media this morning after reports of an active shooter and mass casualties were coming in from the Hopewell School District. BeaverCountian.com immediately reached out to its senior law enforcement sources who were quickly able to confirm from the scene that those reports were false.
Just after 10:30 a.m., WTAE news broke into regular programming to report that Central Catholic and Oakland Catholic schools in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh were on active shooter alerts as well. News helicopters showed the area in a traffic gridlock as children were being evacuated to a nearby parent reunification center near the Cathedral of Learning.
WTAE reported there were several active shooter alerts around the region and the state, with all reports sharing the same detail of “six people shot” inside school buildings.
Later, reports of false alerts in Woodland Hills and New Castle also surfaced. Pennsylvania State Police in Uniontown said they’ve also responded to Laurel Highlands Senior High School for an active shooter threat, another false alarm believed to be a “computer generated swatting call.”
Swatting is a term used to describe the practice of making a “prank call” to emergency services in an attempt to have a large number of police officers or law enforcement tactical units dispatched to a particular address.
Newswires are showing reports coming in from across the country, and the FBI is now involved in what may become a nationwide investigation.
BeaverCountian.com contributing editor Lori Boone contributed to this report.
See Also: Who Will Save Us? A three-part investigative report.