Active shooter reports at area high schools deemed ‘hoax’; FBI investigating

DAYTON, SPRINGFIELD — Active shooter reports at two different area high schools Friday have been deemed a hoax by police.

Dayton Police crews were dispatched to Belmont High School on the report of an active shooter in the school at 10:22 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the City of Dayton.

The first Dayton police officers were on scene at the high school in one minute and 58 seconds, the spokesperson said. Two minutes and 12 seconds after being dispatched, officers were in the building and searching for a threat.

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In addition to Dayton police response, Dayton Fire crews also responded, including medics trained to make entry with police as the building was cleared, according to the spokesperson.

Multiple agencies, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, also responded to the scene.

With the high school on lock-down, police searched the entire school and surrounding property, and by 10:47 a.m. police verified the school was clear and safe.

Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in a statement that Belmont High School entered a lockdown around 10:35 a.m.

“The safety of staff and students is our utmost priority,” Lolli said.

A DPS spokesperson confirmed a One-Call notification was sent out to parents.

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A call to the Clark County dispatch’s non-emergency number at 10:31 a.m. reported that there was an active shooter inside Catholic Central High School, according to a spokesperson for the City of Springfield.

Springfield police were at the scene within two minutes and entered the school upon arrival, the spokesperson said.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, News Center 7 asked Mike Raiff, president of Catholic Central Schools, about the quick response.

“You take a lot of pride in your team. You take a lot of pride in your partners to keep kids safe. It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Raiff said.

The school remained open, however, officials were aware that some parents would want to pick up their children, so officers worked with school officials to set up a staging area, according to the spokesperson.

Both police departments have launched an investigation into the false reports.

“The Dayton Police Department is aware of the trend for these types of false alarms and will be investigating the incident and attempting to identify the unknown caller,” the spokesperson said.

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“These types of false calls are a serious criminal act. They can create needless panic and anxiety for our children, their parents and the community at large,” said SPD Chief Lee Graf. “I’m proud and thankful for the quick response of our officers as well as the deputies of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. We will take every measure to investigate this incident and determine and identify the person or persons responsible.”

The Sharonville Police Department said it recieved report of an active shooter at Princeton High School around the same time, but it was deemed a hoax as well.

Springfield Police said they are now working with the FBI to figure out where the hoax came from.

In a statement an FBI spokesperson said:

“The FBI is aware of the 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. 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. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”

We are working to learn more and will continue updating this story.

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