SOUTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – Wednesday morning there were multiple active shooting calls reported at South Carolina schools. All of those calls have been unfounded and law enforcement believe could have originated outside of the country.
The hoax calls were made about at least 12 schools across the state Wednesday.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said investigators believe the calls may be originating from another country. “It’s a foreign sounding voice. They believe it is all a hoax. It may be just one person or one location doing all this,” he said.
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) says they are evaluating the credibility of these threats.
The Greenville Police Department said a call was made to the 911 communication center Wednesday morning about an active shooter at Greenville High School.
According to the police department, the school resource officer said there was no evidence of a shooting but as a precautionary measure, students were evacuated from the school.
District officials said, “Police responded and quickly determined that the tip was fake. It is relevant to share that school districts across the state have been the object of similar prank calls.”
Another call was made to the 911 communication center, about an active shooter at Robert Anderson Middle School.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division about active shooter calls that were fake.
“Anderson County responded to Robert Anderson and found that this report is NOT TRUE and there was NOT an active shooter at Robert Anderson,” the sheriff’s office said.
The Greenwood Police Department said it received a call about an active shooter Wednesday morning at Greenwood High School.
Law enforcement responded and said there was no danger to anyone and the call was a hoax.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call that shots had been fired at Blythewood High School around 10:25a Wednesday.
Deputies said the school was placed on lockdown while law enforcement searched the building.
The sheriff’s office determined the call was a hoax as well. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says about 150 officers responded at the school.
Sheriff Lott said, “‘Even though it was fake. The emotions were real. The fear was real.” According to Sheriff Lott, the call was spoofed to make it seem like it came from inside the school. He said deputies believe these calls stem from a social media challenge.
He said whoever is behind this could face state and federal charges.
State Superintendent Molly Spearman said she was “very disturbed by the threats that took place at many of our schools across the state today.”
“This causes significant disruptions in learning, and unnecessary trauma for students, teachers, and families,” Spearman continued. “The individuals responsible should face severe consequences for their actions.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the following statement on Twitter:
“Active shooter situations are taken extremely seriously by law enforcement. False claims aren’t a joke and prosecutors across the state will not treat them as jokes. I am disgusted by the recent numerous reports of false active shooter situations at South Carolina schools.”
Similar shooting hoaxes have happened at the following school in South Carolina:
- Burke High School
- Conway High School
- Myrtle Beach High School
- Myrtle Beach Middle School
- Wilson High School
SLED is working with state and federal law enforcement partners.
The FBI also said they were aware of numerous hoax threats across the country.
“The FBI takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk,” the agency said in a statement. “While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention.”
If you have information about these threats, you are asked to call your local law enforcement.