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High school in Howard County placed on lockdown after gun, bomb threat hoax

HCPSS is encouraging anyone who has any information that poses a risk to anyone's physical or emotional safety to report it.

CLARKSVILLE, Md. — A high school in Howard County was placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after receiving a phone call threat about a student with a gun and bomb. Police later determined that it was a hoax.

The Howard County Police Department responded to River Hill High School to investigate the phone call threat which happened just before 2 p.m. Officers said there was no evidence of actual danger, but they continued to investigate the source of the call.

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano stated that school was immediately placed on lockdown after the threat was made at around 1:45 p.m. Police were able to confirm that the threat was invalid and a hoax.

Martirano said the police department's response was significant to making sure the students and staff were safe. In a Twitter video, police can be seen sprinting towards the school to immediately take action towards the threat.

"I am grateful to know that when we receive a threat to our children and staff as significant as this one, that police will respond at such a high level," Martirano said.

This is not the first time that something like this has happened in the DMV. Similar hoaxes, better known as swatting, happened at four schools in the area within a matter of two days at the end of September, just a few weeks ago. Swatting is when people make prank calls to authorities in an attempt to bring a large number of armed officers to a location. 

HCPSS is encouraging anyone who has any information that poses a risk to anyone's physical or emotional safety to report it. 

"The safety of our students, staff and community is our highest priority and we will always take every precaution possible any time a threat is made," Martirano said. 

Students who require support due to the incident are encouraged to connect with a counselor or other student services staff at their school.


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