New perspectives on the active shooter threat hoax at a Tuscaloosa County high school

New perspectives on the active shooter threat hoax at a Tuscaloosa County high school
New perspectives on the active shooter threat hoax at a Tuscaloosa County high school(WBRC)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:03 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - An update on those fake school threats that spread across Alabama earlier this week and caused chaos for students and parents. WBRC has confirmed officers believe one of the calls came from overseas.

It’s not what anyone wants to hear, but according to the National Association of School Resource Officer organization, schools in 35 states have been hit with active shooter hoaxes since September of this year.

Mo Canady doesn’t like how this year started for schools across the country and he’s not surprised. An active shooter threat at Hillcrest High School on Tuesday turned out to be a hoax. He says it may become the norm moving forward, the modern-day bomb threat.

“I would like to tell you I am surprised by this, but quite frankly, it’s a broken record at this moment,” said Canady, Executive Director for NASRO.

For the schools targeted it causes major disruptions, chaos and unnecessary fear.

“Suspicions are it’s a group overseas somewhere and it seems to the be individuals or groups calling have a similar accent,” said Canady.

“We actually communicated with an individual,” said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy.

The call came into an administrative line at the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Officers think it came from overseas.

“There were some distinguishing facts within this phone call which will make it a lot better for us to determine maybe the objective of it,” said Sheriff Abernathy.

Using today’s technology, authorities say they are making progress in tracking the location.

“Anytime you’re dealing with the phone system, the internet, there’s a lot of tracking that has to be done,” said Sheriff Abernathy.

The investigation involves several agencies, according to the Sheriff, including federal investigators. Meantime, Canady encourages parents to start having candid conversations with their children about school safety.

“Making sure they understand the importance of drills, paying attention to their teachers and following the directions. The teachers are the adults in the classroom and have to get kids to safety,” said Canady.

During a threat, Canady encourages parents to contact their schools to see if there is a plan in place to pick up their children.

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