Active shooter hoax prompts lockdowns at multiple Mt. Healthy schools, police say
The initial 911 caller gave generic information about the school building and referenced a room that does not exist, according to Mt. Healthy police.
MT. HEALTHY, Ohio (WXIX) - An emergency situation at Mt. Healthy High School and Mt. Healthy Preparatory and Fitness Academy prompted a heavy response from law enforcement on Wednesday, according to police.
Mt. Healthy Interim Police Chief Greg Nolte says multiple police and emergency service agencies responded to Mt. Healthy High School shortly after 12:31 p.m. for a report of a shooting.
Nolte says the caller “sounded to be a male” with a heavy accent. He says the caller’s information was “very generic and non-specific, only stating ‘the high school,’ and did not name Mt. Healthy High School.”
The Hamilton County Communications Center also got a call reporting the incident. Nolte says that caller also had an accent.
“This call was more specific,” Nolte said, “and indicated a shooter actively shooting at the Mt. Healthy High School in room 55.”
The police departments of Mt. Healthy, Springfield Township, North College Hill, Colerain Township and Green Township responded, together with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Hamilton County Park District Police.
Officers conducted a “systematic and thorough search” of the building, per Nolte. Officers went floor to floor looking for a threat while several agencies staged their equipment and cruisers at Hilltop Plaza across the street from the school.
Police found Room 55 does not exist in the building Nolte says,
The building was cleared of any threat at 12:02 p.m. after police determined the call to be a hoax, Nolte says.
But 11 minutes later, a student at Mt. Healthy Preparatory and Fitness Academy called their parent and mistakenly told them the active shooter was in that building, Nolte says.
The academy, located on Harrison Avenue a quarter-mile from the high school, was on lockdown due to its proximity to the initial response, according to Nolte.
Police units were dispatched to the academy, searched it and quickly determined there was not a threat.
“Both calls wound up being hoax calls. They were not active threats and there were no shootings at either one of the two schools,” Nolte said at the scene.
Mt. Healthy PD is investigating. The department has reached out to the Cincinnati FBI Field Office.
Nolte says there is no credible information of an ongoing threat.
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