PLEASANT VIEW, Weber County — A Pleasant View charter school was placed on lockdown Wednesday because of a school shooting threat.
But police say the report was a hoax, and may have even been a case of swatting.
Wednesday afternoon, Weber County emergency dispatchers received a text on their 911 system from someone claiming there was an active shooter at Capstone Classical Academy, 3885 N. U.S. 89.
Because of the threatening text, officers from several surrounding agencies responded to the school, said Pleasant View Police Sgt. Corey Clark. When they arrived, the school was in lockdown mode with all students hiding in their locked classrooms and the lights off.
But as officers began clearing the building, they found no evidence of an active shooter or that there was ever a gunman in the building, Clark said. The lockdown was lifted about 30 minutes later.
Now, police are trying to figure out who made the false text.
Detectives believe the text was made by someone who was not on school property at the time but was in Utah, Clark said. It was not immediately known if the text was intended to be a prank or a swatting call.
"Swatting" is when a person makes a 911 call to report a false crime, usually of an extremely violent nature, with the intent of getting a SWAT team to respond. The caller is able to manipulate computers and other technology to make it appear that the call is coming from a certain address, even though the caller may actually be in another state or even another country.
A swatting call is dangerous, according to police, because many law enforcers are responding to a scene, typically with guns drawn, expecting to find someone who has committed a violent crime.
It was also not immediately known if Capstone was targeted at random or specifically picked.
Clark said investigators do have some leads they were following.