UPDATE: More school districts are reporting “swatting” events today and the latest comes from the Davenport Community School District. In an email from the district, a spokesperson said:
“As part of an overarching national trend which has made its way to Iowa schools, including schools in Muscatine and Clinton, Davenport Central was subject to a ‘swatting’ hoax regarding a false report of a school shooting. The safety of our students is always of the utmost concern. DCSD and the Davenport Police Department takes all threats of violence seriously. Therefore, DCSD worked diligently with Davenport Police to investigate this report. However, upon investigation, it was deemed to be a false report, and likely part of a bigger national trend that has been spread through the social media platform TikTok. We have no further information on the event. As always, we remain diligent in maintaining a safe and welcoming educational and social environment for our students.”
“The Davenport Community School District and Davenport Police Department takes all threats of violence seriously and would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of alerting a trusted adult such as a police officer or school administrator anytime suspicious activity is observed or heard. We encourage our community that if you see something, say something.” Tips can be submitted anonymously through the P3 app or to CrimeStoppers by clicking here.
EARLIER: Details are emerging in the false school shooting reports from the Muscatine and Clinton school districts.
Assistant Chief Steve Snider from the Muscatine Police Department issued a press release, giving more information on the call they received:
“This morning 03/21/23, at approximately 0825 hours, the Muscatine Joint Emergency Communication Center received a 911 call from an unknown individual, who reported there was a shooting which had just occurred at the Muscatine High School. This same type of call was received at several other emergency communication centers across eastern and central Iowa around the same time. Members from both Muscatine Police and Fire departments and Muscatine County Sheriff’s department responded to the Muscatine High School. It was quickly determined that the 911 call had been a hoax and that there was no armed threat at the school, nor was there any threat to students or staff. The Muscatine High school and some surrounding schools were placed on a temporary lockdown while the incident was being resolved and a thorough check of the campus was being conducted. Additional police presence remained at the high school in an effort to ease safety concerns of students and staff. The incident remains under investigation and the Muscatine Police Department is working with outside agencies in an effort to identify those responsible. Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to contact Sgt. Jeff DeVrieze at (563) 263 – 9922, ext. 629.”
The Clinton Police Department also sent out a press release with more information about the call they received.
In the release, Kevin Gyrion, Chief of Police, says, “On March 21, 2023 at 08:08 A.M., officers from the Clinton Police Department responded to Clinton High School in reference to a report of students shot in a bathroom. Acting on this information, Clinton Police Department, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Camanche Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Clinton Fire Department and surrounding agencies responded to 817 8th Avenue South, Clinton, Iowa. Officers were on scene within minutes of the call and entered the High School to contact the possible suspect. While clearing the building for a possible suspect, officers quickly noticed there were no students injured and could not locate an active shooter. It was determined this was most likely a ‘swatting’ call. This type of call generates an emergency law enforcement response under a false pretense. Officers continued to clear the entire school before releasing the school back to the school district at approximately 10: 12 A.M. At this time, there is not an active threat to the Clinton School District or the community. We would like the public to know that, regardless, until proven otherwise, we take all threats seriously. I would like to credit all local agencies for their quick response today to Clinton High School. This call highlights the many benefits of multi-jurisdictional training for active threat incidents that we have which we actively train for.”
EARLIER UPDATE: Two local school districts received alarming reports of violence this morning, but fortunately these threats were unfounded.
Parents in the Clinton Community School District received emails from the Clinton Schools Messenger System at 8:50 a.m. that read:
“There has been a report of an alleged shooting at Clinton High School. There is no school at CHS today. The school is currently in lock down and Clinton Police are in the building investigating. Other schools in our district are in session but are in lock down. There is no immediate threat to the community or to our other buildings at this time.”
A spokesperson for the district said that someone called 911 to report a shooting. The report was investigated thoroughly but was unsupported. There are no classes at Clinton High School today. Classes are being held at all other schools, but they are on lockdown. A post on the Clinton High School’s Facebook page says that several large schools in Eastern Iowa have also received 911 calls about active shooters. They say they are continuing to work with the Clinton Police Department to reconnect students and parents.
The Muscatine Community School District also received a similar call this morning. According to a release from Superintendent Clint Christopher and Police Chief Tony Kies, the high school was “swatted” this morning. “Swatting” means a fake threat was called into the police department from outside the state of Iowa. The threat referenced a staff member who does not exist within the high school or district. The police swept the entire building and once it was determined there was no credible threat, classes resumed.
“While this is certainly a disruption to the day, we will do our best to resume school as normal at Muscatine High School,” the release said. “Should any students or staff need to speak with a counselor, please know it is okay. Similar ‘swatting’ calls are happening to other school districts across the state of Iowa. Mulberry Elementary School was also temporarily locked down due to its proximity to Muscatine High School. Please know that we take the safety of all students and staff very seriously and work very closely with the Muscatine Police Department. We appreciate their efforts and timely response.”
At 8:33 a.m. Tuesday, Johnson County Joint Emergency Communication Center received a “swatting call” reporting a shooting at Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin, Iowa. Deputies were on scene shortly after the call and thoroughly investigated the report. The call was not credible and there was no active shooting or cause for concern at the school, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
A “swatting call” is a false report made to law enforcement to elicit a large response from authorities. There is no evidence this call was credible, nor did it originate from a caller within Iowa, according to a county release Tuesday. There were similar reports made about other area high schools this morning that were also determined to be fake.