‘He opened fire on the students’: 911 call leads to active shooter hoax at Princeton HS
Hamilton County’s top prosecutor has vowed to find and punish the caller.
SHARONVILLE, Ohio (WXIX) - Sharonville police say reports of an active shooter at Princeton High School are “false,” and they are investigating this now as possibly part of a bigger “hoax.”
Lt. Walter Cordes tells FOX19 NOW police they received reports of similar incidents in other districts on Friday.
It all began to unfold at Princeton High School at 10:12 a.m. Friday.
Someone inside the school called 911 and told a dispatcher there was an active shooter with possibly 10 people hurt, Cordes said.
911 call recording: “He left one classroom and came to another classroom next to our classroom. He opened fire on the students. Ten students got injured next to our classroom. He’s armed with an AR-15 Riffle.”
“In the beginning, we was in the hallway because we was in art class, and all we heard was ‘code 87,’ and all the doors started closing,” said Princeton High School student Eliaih Anthony.
Dozens of police officers from several law enforcement agencies converged on the school off Chester Road adjacent to southbound Interstate 75.
“Our teacher grabbed us and said, let’s go, let’s get back into the classroom,” Anthony recalled. “We’re all barricaded, and everyone was crying.”
They searched the building before issuing the all-clear by 11 a.m. It took so long because police had to go room-by-room in the entire campus to make sure, Lt. Cordes said, adding that no one was hurt.
Because of the disruption, Princeton High School and Middle School were dismissed early for the day, police say. Friday’s football game against Fairfield is postponed until 7 p.m. Saturday.
Earlier, parents frantically rushed to the school and were directed to Vineyard Church where they were seen hugging and reuniting with their children.
Abby Perkins said she broke into tears after her son called her to tell her a possible active shooter was inside his school.
“Well, I got a call from my son telling me that the swat team was outside of the school, and he could see a sniper, and there were cops and helicopters, and I mean, it was shocking and terrifying,” explained Perkins. “I’m still shaking because you can’t get to them fast enough.”
A police officer announced on a bullhorn they were 95% sure the active shooter report was a hoax, and the school is clear.
All roads around the campus were shut down, clogging traffic and turning Chester Road and surrounding streets into a parking lot.
Deer Park and Wyoming schools went into lockdown as a precaution. Both schools returned to normal procedures.
Green Township police put additional officers in schools as a precaution.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters vowed in a statement Friday to find and punish the person who made the hoax call.
The Dayton Police Department said they received a call of an active shooter at a local high school as well. Like the situation in Sharonville, Dayton police said the call turned out to be a hoax.
A high school in Springfield, Ohio, also had a false report of an active shooter Friday.
FOX19 NOW’s sister station in Toledo had reports of active shooters, which turned out to be false, at two high schools in their area.
Friday’s threats appear to be part of a nationwide issue.
The Ohio School Safety says they are working with national and state law enforcement to assist in the investigations.
“While some of the threats have been determined to be false through law enforcement investigation, the OSSC takes all threats to schools seriously and recommends that schools and first responders do the same,” the safety commission said Friday.
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