Several high schools in Nebraska initiated lockdowns Thursday in response to “active shooter” calls received by the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP).
Schools in Omaha, Fremont, Hastings, Columbus, Gering, Grand Island, Lincoln, and Kearney reported the calls.
Each incident was determined to be a hoax, known as “swatting,” where an unknown party will report a violent crime in progress to a police force with a SWAT team, looking to trigger a violent response to a nonexistent threat.
Thursday’s calls mirror a trend of similar hoaxes across the nation, according to a statement from NSP, which added, “There is no credible information that any such school shooting has taken place.”
Using VOIP technology, the hoaxers mask their location and identity while often pretending to be inside the school.
In Omaha, officers responded to a call at Omaha South High School at 8:15 a.m., Omaha police said. After arriving on the scene, officers “quickly determined” no shooting had occurred.
Similar stories played out at the other schools targeted across the state.
Scotus Central Catholic High School reported that a “hoax” call was made around 9 a.m. claiming “three individuals had been shot.”
Gering Public Schools reported that a “Google-generated number” called 9-1-1 around 8:30 a.m. to report an emergency.
A high school in Bismarck, North Dakota, was one of many others across the country that also reported receiving a threat that was deemed “not credible” on Thursday morning.
Nebraska State Patrol investigators are working with other state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify the caller.