Police investigate hoaxes alleging school shootings in Anchorage and Fairbanks

By Anchorage Daily News

Updated: 1 One hour before Published: 11 hours ago

Police in Anchorage and Fairbanks said they were investigating reports of active shooters at high schools Wednesday afternoon, which drew a major response from law enforcement, but turned out to be false.

The Anchorage Police Department said a caller “reported there was an active shooter” at Eagle River High School at 1:34 p.m., near the end of the school day.

“Officers have determined that this allegation is unfounded,” police said in a statement. “There were no shots fired, no weapons found and no injuries.”

The source of the report is still under investigation. A police spokeswoman declined to answer further questions Wednesday afternoon.

In Fairbanks, a similar call came in just before 2 p.m. on the 911 line when someone reported an active shooter at Lathrop High School.

The Fairbanks Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies in the area, “responded to the school immediately,” the department said. “As of 2:18 p.m. there has been no confirmation that there is an active shooter or that there are injuries.”

A message from the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to families said all students were safe “and the threat has been confirmed as false.”

In Anchorage, dozens of patrol cars were seen speeding towards the Glenn Highway at the time of the Eagle River High School active shooter report.

Eagle River principal Tim Helvey, in a message to families on Wednesday afternoon, said school officials “immediately put the building on hold” after police relayed information about a call describing an active shooter on campus. The “Stay On Site” status generally means that students and staff remain inside classrooms.

“Several ODA officers responded to campus within minutes,” Helvey wrote. “Once in the building, they checked that there was no threat.”

Police ordered school officials to lift the reprieve at 1:56 p.m. and proceed with the normal release of students at 2 p.m., he said. “While a stay-at-home incident can be an alarming experience for everyone involved, we have responded in this manner to ensure the safety of all students and staff on campus until the APD can verify the credibility of the threat We appreciate APD’s quick response in this situation.

Students at Lathrop and neighboring schools Ryan Middle, Hunter Elementary and Barnette Magnet have been placed in quarantine, said Rebecca Hurbi, director of communications for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Law enforcement went from class to class to secure Lathrop High, district officials said in a statement. At approximately 2:27 p.m., the schools were removed from containment.

When asked about what happened, including whether police believe the two incidents were related, Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said the department is not releasing no additional information at this time, that an investigation was ongoing and that any further updates would be through the Nixle. public notification system.

Fairbanks police spokeswoman Teal Soden said that while the incidents were unrelated, “it’s a pretty big coincidence. But the investigation into this will take place.

FBI spokeswoman Chloe Martin in Anchorage said the agency was aware of the ‘crush incidents’ – pranking emergency services to try to lure large numbers of law enforcement armed forces – and that the forces of order reacted accordingly.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District said it will make its emotional support team available at Lathrop on Thursday for students and staff “who may have been understandably shaken by today’s events.” An officer will also be present.

Soden said the situation was very unusual.

“It’s not very common for someone to call an active shooter and say there are children who have been shot,” she said.

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