HomeNewsActive shooter hoax at Westside High School tied to others around state

Active shooter hoax at Westside High School tied to others around state

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The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and FBI to determine the source of an active shooter hoax that shut down Westside High School early Wednesday, Sheriff Richard Roundtree said at a Wednesday, Nov. 30 press conference.

The incident began with a call to 911 operators around 10:30 a.m., according to Roundtree. The call indicated an active shooter was in progress, which necessitated a call to all available units, he said.

Roundtree said deputies as well as members of the Richmond County School Police conducted two full sweeps of the building, and all students and employees were accounted for.

“We take these incidents extremely seriously, given the nature of situations that have occurred throughout the U.S.,” Roundtree said.

As units responded to Westside Wednesday morning, officials determined there was no shooter. They connected the hoax to others that took place around the state Wednesday morning, said Lynthia Ross, chief public relations officer for the Richmond County School System.

“The call used the same message sent in threats determined to be unsubstantiated in other Georgia school districts this morning,” Ross said.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office responds to a threat at Westside High School. Staff photo

The Columbia County School District had no reports of shooting, but the system increased law enforcement patrols in and around school campuses in response to the “rash of fake threats,” said Abbigail Remkus, communications director for the school system.

In Burke County, 911 was notified Wednesday morning of a possible active shooter at other Georgia school systems, a statement from law enforcement said. Burke schools, public and private, received no threats but the law enforcement presence was increased at all schools, the statement said.

“We will continue to monitor these situations as several of the threats made have been determined to be a hoax,” it said.

Statewide, threats or reports of active shooters occurred at the Savannah-Chatham, Glynn, Camden, Baldwin, Fulton and Valdosta school districts, according to media reports.

Gov. Brian Kemp called the incidents “acts of domestic terrorism,” which are now under investigation by the FBI.

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