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Several school districts in Conn. receive hoax reports of active shooter: Officials

School officials and the Mayor of Stamford said that multiple schools received hoax reports of an active shooter Friday morning.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — School districts in several towns across the state are sounding the all-clear after hoax phone calls reported an active shooter situation at a school.

Westport Superintendent Thomas Scarice said that Staples High School was put into lockdown but that "police have every reason to believe" that it was a false alarm. As a precaution, the Westport Police Department searched the school room by room before the lockdown was eventually lifted. 

In Scarice's message, he said that multiple schools around Connecticut had received the same threat.

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Bridgeport school officials said that a call was made to 911 regarding a shooting incident at Harding High School. The school engaged their locked-in-locked-out procedure out of safety as police responded. School officials said that police later learned that the call was a hoax and the school resumed their normal day. 

Then, just before 9 a.m., Stamford High School received a false report notification of an active shooter threat in the building.

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Mayor Caroline Simmons said the school was immediately put into lockdown and the police department responded. 

According to Simmons, police determined that the report was a hoax, and 30 minutes later the lockdown was lifted at the school. 

Simmons said that the Stamford Police Department had been notified that other Fairfield County school districts also received similar threats. 

But the calls weren't limited to just Fairfield County. 

Around 10:15 a.m., Groton police received a phone call reporting an active shooter at the high school. 

Groton officials said the call came from an "undetermined origin" and appeared to be a recording. 

Officers responded to Fitch High School, Groton Middle School, and Grasso Southeastern Technical School to search and investigate the credibility of the threat. All of the schools were placed in lockdown protocols. Police said it was quickly determined that the incident was likely swatting. During the incident, police said they received information that other areas of the state were also affected by a similar call. 

Police said there does not appear to be a public safety threat related to this incident in Groton.

Citizens with information regarding this incident or other criminal activity are encouraged to contact the Groton Town Police Department at (860) 441-6712.

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Enfield police said they received a phone call just before 10:30 a.m. stating that there was an active "incident" at Enfield High School with multiple students reportedly injured. 

Police noted that other departments had been receiving similar reports all morning. 

School Resource Officers at the school immediately secured the school and searched the building while additional officers responded. The entirety of the school was checked, police said, and nothing suspicious was found. 

Police said they determined there was no threat to students at the school and that the call appeared to be part of the larger swatting incident targeting the other towns and cities as well. 

Windsor Locks Middle School was also affected by this hoax and Aubree Turner, a student, said she felt scared. 

"I’m scared 'cause I didn’t know what was going to happen, we had to hide," said Turner. 

Aubree's mother Courtney Turney said all she cares about is that they're safe. 

“I’m going to hug all my babies really tight and let them know how much I love them and that they’re safe today," said Turner. 

Kimber Bailey, a parent of the school said she thought about her son immediately. 

"I got a call from my friend she heard there was a shooter I didn’t know if he (her son) was dead or alive when I was coming here," said Bailey.

The Connecticut Education Association President Kate Dias called the series of swatting threats "shocking, appalling, and downright dangerous."

"We need to take all threats seriously to ensure the safety of our students, teachers, and communities and quickly put an end to the fear, danger, and disruption they create," Dias said in a statement Friday.

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Dias noted that these swatting calls have been popping up at school districts nationwide as of late.

"We must all do our part to be diligent and report anything suspicious and work with law enforcement to put an end to this public safety threat," Dias added.

Mo Canday from The National Association of School Resources told FOX61 that Connecticut is one of 29 states to see swatting calls since August.

"That has an impact that’s very frightening there is certainly trauma around that," said Canday.

More details about the ongoing investigation are not available at this time. Connecticut State Police said they are assisting in the town and city investigations.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  


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