ALAMOSA High and other schools across the state went on lockdown Monday after receiving a threat of an active shooter that in reality were prank calls to see if police would respond.
The FBI Denver Field Office called it “swatting incidents.”
“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,” the FBI said in an official statement. “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.”
The swatting call made it sound like an administrator at the school was calling 911 to report shots fired, but no administrator from Alamosa High placed any call to 911. The 911 call got police to respond and put the school on lockdown. The same scenario of a school official calling in a report of an active shooter occurred at Denver East High and other schools in the state.
Anxious parents arrived at AHS shortly after the Alamosa School District notified families of the lockdown. One parent of a 14-year-old freshman said he was “scared at first” but once he arrived on the scene and heard from police that everything was OK, he felt relieved.
One student said he opened a police scanner on his phone so the class could listen to police chatter.
The Alamosa School District placed its other schools on lockdown immediately following the 911 call. “(Alamosa Police) checked every classroom, closet, and space and found no evidence of weapons or an armed shooter on school grounds. At no time was any student or staff member in danger throughout the situation or investigation,” the school district said in a statement.
Alamosa Police Chief Ken Anderson said the response from law enforcement across the San Luis Valley helped Alamosa police officers. “That’s why we need this mutual agreement between agencies so we all work together to resolve a situation like this,” Anderson said.
Counselors will be available all day at AHS on Tuesday for students and staff who need extra support in dealing with Monday’s incident, said Principal Andy Lavier. “While the report of school violence was not credible or true the lockdown event could be traumatic for some students and staff.”