Hoax swatting call forces Austin elementary school to go into short-term lockdown

Austin Public Schools
Austin Public Schools(APS)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 11:56 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – A hoax swatting call forced an Austin elementary school to go into a short-term lockdown Monday morning.

According to Austin Public Schools, law enforcement responded to a swatting call concerning Banfield Elementary School, which immediately went into a short-term lockdown.

The call ended with what the dispatcher believed to be gunshots in the background. Law enforcement responded immediately and secured the building. Initial responding officers did not find that a shooting had occurred.

In the course of ascertaining that there was no critical incident, those peace officers made entry into the school as if such an event was ongoing. This included breaching a door to do so, according to the Austin Police Department.

APD believe this false call was made maliciously in order to generate such a response. It’s School Resources Officers will continue to communicate with the school district following this event.

Out of an abundance of caution, all other District buildings were put into a hold.

Austin Public Schools met with local law enforcement and determined the incident was not credible. The school then returned to normal operations.

Resources will be available to respond to students, staff, and parents as needed.

Superintendent Dr. Joey Page released the following statement:

“Here at Austin Public Schools, our priority is the safety and well-being of our students, their families, and our staff. Each of our schools has established a safety plan and lockdown procedures that contribute to maintaining a safe learning environment for our students. In the wake of this incident and part of our practice, school personnel will review those plans and continue our ongoing relationship with law enforcement to ensure we do everything we can to maintain the safety and security of our schools.”

Dr. Joey Page