A wave of "swatting" swept through the Bay Area on Wednesday, a day after similar incidents in Florida, with classes disrupted and lockdowns ordered following a half dozen fabricated reports of active shooters at six different high schools.
Swatting, or the act of calling in a false report in order to elicit a SWAT team or other response from law enforcement, is a particularly malicious prank of internet trolls that's usually directed at individuals, not schools. But somebody has it out for Bay Area teens, or just has a sick sense of humor, and law enforcement in at least six Bay Area cities responded to false reports about active shooters at high schools.
As ABC 7 and others are reporting, the reports targeted at least six schools — including George Washington High in San Francisco, which quickly determined the report was fraudulent and no lockdown occurred.
The swatting hit South San Francisco High School, which was the subject of a KRON4 report about a lockdown and possible active shooter before that report was updated. Also targeted were Woodside High School, Lincoln High School in San Jose, Irvington High School in Fremont, and McClymonds High School in Oakland.
Fremont police and Fremont Fire responded to Irvington High this morning, as KRON4 reports, after receiving a report from a person claiming to be on the campus witnessing an active shooter situation. The school was subsequently locked down and searched.
The source of the calls is now being investigated.
A similar wave of swatting calls hit multiple high schools in Florida on Tuesday — possibly from the same individual. Miami Central High School, Palmetto Ridge High in Naples, West Broward High School, Pinellas Park High School, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, and Riverview High School in Sarasota were all targeted with false reports a day before the Bay Area swatting calls.
Miami television reporter Eric Yutzy reported via police that the call to Miami Central High School had come from outside the country.
Today was overwhelming for parents, students and community members alike. Just after 12:45, we received what detectives feel confident was a "swatting" call to our 911 center. The caller indicated an active shooter at Riverview High School. (thread⬇️) pic.twitter.com/4gpJOoDLB1— SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) October 11, 2022
Multiple officers are on scene at West Broward High School investigating a possible swatting call.— Pembroke Pines PD (@PPinesPD) October 11, 2022
There is no evidence of any safety concerns at the school at this time. The school is going into lockdown as a precautionary measure. 1/ pic.twitter.com/rO4vIHm2Pb
Photo of George Washington High School via Wikimedia