TOPEKA (KSNT) – Multiple Kansas law enforcement agencies responded to fake calls of active shooters Wednesday morning.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said it is assisting local, state and federal authorities regarding the several swatting calls to schools. The KBI is also aware of similar swatting trends in other states and comparing information with authorities, according to the KBI.
KSNT 27 News first broke news of an active shooter call at Highland Park High School in Topeka after 8 a.m. USD 501 released this statement to families in the district:
“Secure campus in place for all East Topeka Schools while HPH remains on lockdown as a reported matter is being investigated. We do not have additional details at this time as law enforcement investigates this matter. At this time there is no confirmation of any incident, however, we take all reports of this nature seriously and we have asked all schools near Highland Park High to remain in secure campus at this time until the lockdown is lifted at HPH.“Topeka Public Schools
The Topeka Police Department and other law enforcement agencies responded to the scene but said there was no threat to students, staff or school.
“TPD is looking into the false report of an active shooter, and is aware of similar calls in the region. We want to assure the community that everyone is safe.”City of Topeka
The Riley County Police Department also said it received a call of an active shooter at Manhattan High School West Campus. Dispatchers deemed the call as swatting and a school resource officer went to the scene, but the information was false.
KSNT 27 News talked to the Lawrence Police Department which said it also received similar calls around 8:30 a.m. The LPD said it responded to Free State High School, but the school resource officer identified the call as swatting. LPD said it is currently working with the FBI in the investigation.
KSN News reports more calls at El Dorado High School, in the Wichita area at Wichita North High School and Junction City High School. These have also been false.
Officers on the scene alongside school officials confirmed that there was no active threat to any schools within the district. We are aware of similar calls placed to other school districts this morning and are working with area Law Enforcement to investigate this matter further.Junction City Police department said at 9:38 a.m. on Facebook.
Last year numerous calls were made to Missouri and Kansas schools which were later identified as swatting incidents. The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it was investigating the source of these calls.
Thank you for your cooperation as the report made targeting Highland Park High School was investigated. Reportedly a false report was made to various places in other areas as well today regarding a threat, and this is unfortunate and concerning. However, we take all reports seriously and appreciate the quick action of law enforcement and school officials who investigated and cleared the building before 9AM. We do not have additional details yet and we are working with law enforcement however, it has been confirmed there was never a true threat at any of our schools. The lockdown and safe secure campus is lifted. Added district staff and law enforcement will be present at Highland Park High School and at various schools out of continued caution. We will be continuing our normal procedures of keeping the front doors locked and the added safety steps we normally take before admitting staff will continue. We know this is a very frightening ordeal for everyone and any parent that would like to pick up their student today will have an excused absence. Administrators at Highland Park High School and the superintendent remained on campus at Highland Park High School and school officials visited every classroom to ensure students were met with. Additionally, the mental health team will be in place at Highland Park to meet with students as needed.
Thank you again for your support and cooperation.Topeka 501 sent this statement out at 9:20 a.m. to staff and families.