NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Parents at two Kansas City area high schools got an email no mom or dad wants to receive — warnings of a possible active shooter threat.
The fake threats targeted schools across the region, and now the FBI is investigating. It’s something called swatting.
There was a huge law enforcement presence at North Kansas City High School Thursday — dozens and dozens of deputies, troopers and police officers — after a report of an active shooter.
Turns out, that threat was fake, but the terror these threats cause is very real.
“It’s really troubling that we have to live like this,” parent Jon Cates said.
He and his wife received a frightening text from his daughter, a sophomore at North Kansas City Thursday afternoon. It was a photo that showed two law enforcement officers holding guns entering the school. They were responding to the active shooter threat.
“It was just really terrifying, really scary for her, and I was looking at the news and nothing was on the news,” Cates said. “So it was pretty terrifying.”
His wife left work and rushed to the high school. Their daughter pleaded that she stay away to avoid getting hurt.
“The caller said there was an active shooter at the high school,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sarah Boyd said.
The building was on lockdown for about 15 minutes, while police and Clay County sheriff’s deputies searched for a shooter.
“Within five minutes, they were able to check the whole building and determine there was no threat,” Boyd said.
The threat was fake, and they’re now working with the FBI to investigate. Boyd has a message for the caller.
“You drained an incredible amount of resources from the community that day, you ruined a day of learning for students, you incited fear that was completely unnecessary,” Boyd said, “and we’re going to get justice for that.”
There was also an increased security presence Thursday at Turner High School due to an active shooter threat.
Boyd said they know the call was not local. Several other schools across the region, like Wichita and Topeka, and even in California and Texas, received a similar threat.
The FBI told FOX4 that they don’t have any information to indicate these threats were credible.
Cates is beyond grateful his daughter’s OK, but he’s concerned about the aftereffects on students’ mental health.
“Just the trauma that the kids have gone thru that’s really upsetting,” Cates said.
The FBI will continue to investigate, looking into who made the call and where it came from.
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