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Schools across the country, including Tri-Cities, receive false shooting threats

HASTINGS, Nebraska (Nebraska) — Hastings High School was closed Thursday morning following a report of an active shooter. Currently, authorities say there is no real threat at the high school.

The 911 center received a call from a man claiming to be a high school teacher, according to Hastings Public Schools.

Dispatch got suspicious because the teacher’s name and room number didn’t exist.

The caller said there was an active shooter at the high school.

All Hastings police officers were sent to the school and officers went from room to room to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

HPS administration and Hastings police are working together to notify students, parents and the public of the facts of the situation.

Hastings police are investigating.

During the day, the school will have police officers who will monitor the safety of students and staff, as well as answer questions.

HPS stated that due to previous planning, procedures have been put in place between the county and the police to help maintain a calm atmosphere throughout the event.

Grand Island Public Schools also reported an implausible threat on Thursday morning called to Grand Island Police.

A GIPS spokesman said a series of false calls were received at various schools on Thursday morning. A threatening call was made to Westridge High Schools, which turned out to be a hoax. GIPS also reported that Kearney Public received a false threat on Thursday morning.

Here is the Grand Island Public Schools statement released Thursday morning:

“We wanted to update you on a resolved situation that happened this morning at GIPS. You probably know that 9-1-1 stations in Colorado, Kansas, and now here in Nebraska have been receiving false calls. City of Grand Island – Police Department got one of those calls today with a fake call citing a false threat. We have also received reports that a similar hoax call has been received in public schools in Kearny and other districts. In doing their due diligence, the GIPD responded to our building this morning, briefed us on the call, and reaffirmed their support for our security efforts. Please be aware that these calls are unfounded and fake. We are working with the GIPD as they investigate the origin of these calls to Midwestern schools. All our students and staff are safe. Training has not been interrupted and business is operating as normal.”

On Thursday, Kearny police released a statement about a false call that was reported at Kearney High School.

KPD said that at 8:53 a.m., the Buffalo County Communications Center received a call to emergency services reporting a shooting at a high school. The officers were sent to the school, along with the school inspector who was already in the building, and immediately confirmed that there was no shooting or active threat.

The Kearney Police Department determined the call was a hoax, as were calls received in Hastings, Grand Island, Lincoln, Columbus, Fremont, and Omaha.

This week, 9-1-1 emergency call centers have been hit by a trend of false calls from active shooters.

The voice is usually that of a man of Middle Eastern origin who claims to be in the school building and witnessed the shooting. These calls were unfounded.

As with any threat to our schools, we work closely with Kearny Public Schools and will investigate and respond to all threats in accordance with our standard response protocol.

All students and KPS staff in schools are safe. Training has not been interrupted and business is operating as normal.

“The Kearny Police Department is taking these calls very seriously, along with our Kearny Public Schools partners,” Police Chief Brian Waugh said. “We will be working with our allied agencies and law enforcement partners, who also received the same calls today, in an attempt to identify those responsible. The KPD has also contacted all schools in Kearny to ensure the safety of each school and no further calls have been received. Thank you to everyone who responded and to the excellent work of our Buffalo County communications team.”

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