DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Parents are shaken after having to pick up their kids from schools following several active shooter threats in southwest Ohio.
Belmont High School in Dayton was one of the schools that received a threat. The school went into lockdown Friday morning after the regional dispatch center received a call about an active shooter inside the building. Dayton Police and Fire arrived on scene less than two minutes after the call was made.
“Upon arrival, crews went in aggressively to secure the location and check for an active shooter incident,” Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Lykins said.
Chief Lykins said they swept the building, but did not find any signs of an active shooter. No one inside the building was hurt, and police ultimately determined the call was a hoax.
“There were more than a dozen police cruisers on the scene. Certainly the fire department had no less than a dozen apparatus on the scene. And so it strips a lot of resources unnecessarily when it’s a false call,” Chief Lykins explained.
Even though the call turned out to be fake, students inside said they were scared and confused. Rebecca Sargent, a ninth grader at Belmont, said she was in class when the school went into lockdown.
“I was in class, I was doing my work. And then they came on the intercom and said we’re in lockdown. All the kids started freaking out, and then there was a class being held as hostage, and it was right beside us. And there were so many cops. I was freaking out,” Rebecca said.
Her parents, Tammy and Danny, are now breathing a sigh of relief.
“No parent should ever have to go through anything like this, whether it’s fake or real,” Tammy said.
“I just know that I’m thankful it was a prank, and I actually got to see them,” Danny said.
Catholic Central High School in Springfield also received a threat. Springfield Police got to the school within two minutes of the call. Captain Mike Kranz with Springfield PD said staff at the high school were not even aware there was a threat until police arrived on scene.
“From that point on, they had to react to what we told them, and they were able to get all the students secured as fast as possible. And they were great to work with before, during, and after the event,” Cpt. Kranz said.
Police determined the call was also hoax, which is something they do not take lightly.
“It drains resources from from our security forces, as well as raises tremendous anxiety levels in the students, the staff, and the community around the school,” Cpt. Kranz explained.
School faculty and staff are relieved now that the students are home safe with their families.
“It was a blessing to see that when our kids were on the busses, that our teachers were there and they know so many of our parents, and they knew who their kids were. And it gave that assurance and calmness,” President Mike Raiff said.
All agencies involved believe this situation was handled in the best way possible, and they applaud the teamwork it took to make sure the students were ok.
“I take a lot of pride in our team. You take a lot of pride in your partners for the greater good to keep kids safe. It’s greatest feeling in the world,” Raiff said.
Investigators are now working to determine who called in the hoax and whether it was connected to other hoax calls happening across the country.