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4 schools in DMV targets of swatting within 2 days

Swatting is when someone makes prank calls to authorities in an attempt to bring a large number of armed officers to a location.

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: This video is from Sept. 2022 about Bladensburg High School being on lockdown after police got a tip from a student.

The 2022-23 school year has been underway for a few weeks and while education might be at the top of many students and teachers' minds, safety is at the forefront for authorities. Law enforcement across the DMV have responded to multiple schools within the last few weeks in response to tips about active shooters or safety threats.

Just in the last two days, at least four schools have had incidents where police or deputies have had to respond due to possible threats being made. The threats were later determined to be 'swatting' incidents. Swatting is when people make prank calls to authorities in an attempt to bring a large number of armed officers to a location.

The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that they received a report of an active shooter at Roosevelt High School in Northwest D.C. on Tuesday morning. At the school, officers did a walk-through but found no active shooter situation there, according to a 11:38 a.m. tweet.

The Leesburg Police Department was made aware on Monday of a social media group chat which had rumors of threats involving Smart’s Mill Middle School. Officers worked with Loudoun County Public Schools in response to the rumored social media threat, which was determined to be a threat targeting a specific student. The incident was ultimately identified as a hoax report of an active violence incident.

The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office responded to Fredericksburg Academy, located off of Falcon Drive, around 1:30 p.m. on Monday after receiving a report of an active shooter. When officers arrived at the scene they were able to quickly determine that the incident was a swatting call and that there was no threat to students or staff.

SWATTING INCIDENT A large police presence just occurred at Fredericksburg Academy located off Falcon Drive. At 1:30PM, a caller reported that there was an active shooter at Fredericksburg Academy. Deputies quickly arrived and found the incident to be a swatting call and there was no threat to students or staff. Swatting is a criminal harassment tactic of hoaxing a large emergency service response to a location. This case will be thoroughly investigated to identify the person responsible.

Posted by Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office - Roger L. Harris Sheriff on Monday, September 19, 2022

The sheriff's office said they would be thoroughly investigating the incident to find the person responsible as swatting is a criminal harassment tactic.

 At 2:47 p.m. on Monday, Culpeper County Public Schools tweeted that the sheriff's office was investigating a 911 report of an active shooter at Eastern View High School. The school said there was no credible threat to the school or any other school in the area. 

Similar incidents has happened across the DMV, with schools not just in D.C. and Virginia but in Maryland  as well. Schools in Maryland have been placed on lockdown this school term due to threats. On Sept. 1, Bladensburg High School was locked down due to a tip police received.  

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