“Swatting” calls target Olentanga High School, Columbus East High School

Fake calls were also made on Tuesday involving schools in Dayton, Springfield, Cincinnati and Akron.

COLUMBUS, Ohio. On Tuesday, law enforcement responded to at least two central Ohio high schools to reports of an active shooter that was later ruled a hoax.

At approximately 12:44 p.m., the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office reported that someone had called 911 and stated that several people had been shot at Olentanga High School. The caller introduced himself as a student and said he was hiding at the school.

The deputies responded to the campus and ransacked every room in the high school. Nothing was found and there were no reports of injuries.

The sheriff’s office said they were aware of reports of prank calls at other schools, but took the threat at the high school seriously until they confirmed all students and staff were safe.

Just after 12:30 p.m., Columbus police and firefighters responded to East High School after the shooting was reported. According to the Columbus Police Department, the false report also claimed that there were multiple casualties at the school.

Fake calls were also made on Tuesday involving schools in Dayton, Springfield, Cincinnati and Akron.

In November last year, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a law on false emergency calls in the state.

“Swatting” – that is, when someone knowingly reports a false emergency, which causes a law enforcement response – is a fourth-degree felony. If a person is physically harmed during a police response, it becomes a felony in the second degree. Convicts may also be financially responsible for the costs associated with law enforcement responses.

The FBI released the following statement in response to the false reports:

“The FBI is aware of numerous swab incidents that report on an active shooter at a school. The FBI takes spanking very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk. While we do not have information that points to a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to collect, share, and take action on threat information as it comes to our attention. We urge the public to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement.”

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