A recent report from Wired claims that schools across the U.S. are facing an epidemic of false school shooting reports, resulting in police SWAT teams arriving at schools filled with startled students and educators. 92 incidents in 16 states occurred in just three weeks of September according to research by Wired.
Wired reports in an article titled “A Swatting Spree Is Terrorizing Schools Across the US,” that sixteen states have collectively suffered more than 90 false reports of school shooters during three weeks in September, with police SWAT teams arriving at the schools.
At 1:15 PM on September 15, a man who identified himself as Tom Gomez called Sangamon County Central Dispatch in Illinois to report that two gunmen had shot a dozen students at Springfield High School. According to audio of the call obtained by WIRED, the man was specific. The caller, breathing heavily, told dispatchers that he was locked inside a math classroom with other students and that the two men, both dressed in blue pants and green jackets, were killing students in the adjacent classroom: room 219.
Within five minutes, Springfield Police were at the high school’s second floor, descending on the room where they were told a mass murder had occurred. The problem is that, according to police records, Springfield High doesn’t have a room 219. In fact, there was no shooting at all.
The dangerous hoax call was one of more than 90 false reports of active shooter incidents at US schools made during the second half of September, WIRED found. From Lincoln High in Dallas, Texas, to Lincoln High in Des Moines, Iowa; McArthur High in Hollywood, Florida, to Hollywood High in Los Angeles, these false reports are part of a disturbing spree of recent swatting incidents that crisscross the United States. While experts who study violence at schools say that false reports of shootings inspire copycats, state and local law enforcement officials say that many of these swatting attacks seem to stem from a single person or group.
Wired compiled a list of 92 false reports in 16 states between September 13 and September 30 from local news reports, police records, and interviews with state and local officials. Many of the false reports aligned with data collected by the Educator’s School Safety Network.
At least 32 of the false reports appear to be linked to a single group or perpetrator. Of the 60 remaining calls, many were made within minutes of one another. Superintendent Drew Evans of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a statewide fusion center tracking these incidents stated: “There’s a lot of different technology that could make it appear to be a single person, but all the indications we have are that it’s either one person or a single entity.”
Read more at Wired here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan