COLORADO SPRINGS (KXRM) — The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) received reports of an active shooter at a local high school on Monday, but did not specify which one. CSPD said no students or staff were in danger and called the call a “hoax.”
CSPD confirmed to FOX21 on Monday that the “swatting” call (making a prank emergency call with the intent of gathering a large law enforcement response), was connected to other threats made across the state, including in Denver, Alamosa and Montrose.
East High School in Denver was evacuated around 2 p.m. due to a reported active shooter, but law enforcement confirmed the threat appeared to be unfounded, and there was no evidence of a shooter in the building.
Alamosa High School in the southwestern part of the state also reported police presence at about 3 p.m. after a report of shots fired. That school was placed on lockdown while law enforcement searched the grounds.
Ultimately, the threat to Alamosa High School was also confirmed unfounded, and the all-clear was given from police about half an hour after the initial report.
Montrose School District RE-1 confirmed on Facebook that their high school was also temporarily placed on lockdown for the same reason, with the lockdown being lifted just before 4 p.m.
FOX21 reached out the the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Denver and received the following statement:
The FBI is aware of numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. The FBI takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk and drains law enforcement resources.
Most swatting cases are handled by local and state law enforcement agencies. The FBI often provides resources and guidance in these investigations and can recommend cases for federal prosecution.
FBI Denver is working with local law enforcement on some of these swatting incidents involving schools in our region.
In the latest report analyzing incidents at Colorado schools, the State Department of Public Safety says 14 to 15-year-old students accounted for the highest portion of contacts with police involving teens in 2021, with an increase in swatting calls.
Academy School District 20 says there’s been a few instances in 2022 where threats were made toward their schools on social media.
“We always wonder which school is going to be next,” Allison Cortez, Chief Communication Officer for D20 says.
Sometimes the claims are believed to be real, but most of the time they were clearly fake.
“Whether its perceived as real or it ends up being completely fake, it does not matter,” Cortez explains, “It disrupts the learning, it disrupts our day in the school.”
D20 says swatting cases are not only impacting those in the classroom.
“These situations are directly impacting how individuals perceive the field of education, so while it’s impacting our current teachers, it is impacting people that may think they want to go into education,” Cortez explains.
For information on delayed releases from impacted schools, you should check with your local school district.