FBI releases statement on Alabama school shooter hoax calls

Authorities across North Alabama have been responding to false reports of shooters at schools in the area.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 8:41 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 11:20 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The FBI’s Birmingham office released a statement on Wednesday regarding hoax calls made to law enforcement statewide.

Law enforcement responded to Mae Jemison High School Tuesday morning on reports of a possible shooting.

According to Huntsville Police Sgt. Rosalind White, officers found no victim and no shooter at the school.

The FBI says that hoax calls like the ones made Tuesday make the job harder for law enforcement and cost taxpayers money.

“FBI Birmingham is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. We are working alongside our law enforcement partners in identifying the source of the hoax threats. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide more details. However, it is important to note that law enforcement is going to use all available resources to investigate a school threat until we determine whether it is real or not. Investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts us from responding to an actual crisis. Hoax threats can shut down schools, cause undue stress and fear to the public, and cost taxpayers a lot of money.”

“Yes we are aware,” Craig Williams with Huntsville City Schools said when asked about the police response. “Does not appear to be anything credible.”

Huntsville City Schools released a statement regarding the campus lockdown and police presence.

“Dear Jemison/McNair families and staff members, out of an abundance of caution, the Jemison/McNair campus has been placed on lockdown. While there do not appear to be any credible reports of any incidents at this time, there is a prominent police presence on campus. Normal operations will resume as quickly as possible. We ask families and visitors to avoid coming to campus at this time. Only authorized staff and law enforcement will be allowed access to our building.”

Huntsville City Schools

A spokesperson with the Huntsville Police Department said that officers found no evidence of a shooting and no victims through their search.

According to a spokesperson with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the same incident has occurred at West Morgan High School. The spokesperson says that the report at West Morgan was a false report. Authorities are unsure of the origin of the call but say that the area code was from Ohio.

A Facebook post from Lauderdale County Schools says that Wilson High School was in lockdown Tuesday morning after the Florence Police Department received a call reporting a possible shooting. The post says that there is no indication of any weapons on campus and that no guns were fired.

A statement was released by Madison City Schools about the events at surrounding North Alabama schools:

“Dear MCS Family,

As you are probably aware, Huntsville City Schools, Morgan County Schools, and Jackson County Schools all received prank calls today (Tuesday, Dec. 13) alerting them to an “active shooter” on their campuses. Based on the information we have obtained, there was no active threat in these districts. This appears to be someone trying to cause alarm. The Madison Police Department and our SROs are aware and are prepared to respond to any emergency or incident. If our schools receive any type of threat, we will respond by placing a school in “Lockdown” and follow our MCS lockdown protocol. We will also communicate if such an activity takes place at a school in MCS.


Ed Nichols”

According to the Scottsboro Police Department, Scottsboro High School received a similar threat. A spokesperson with the Scottsboro Police Department said that the department cleared the building in accordance with its active shooter response policy but found that the threat was not credible.