Colorado Schools Experience Lockdowns After False Threats
On Wednesday morning, several Colorado schools experienced lockdowns after a string of apparently false threats made against their communities. Calls were made that referenced potential threats against schools in Boulder, Brighton, Aspen, Cañon City, and Estes Park. Boulder High School was one of the first sites to be affected, and it was put on lockdown at around 8:45am.
The FBI Denver Field Office released a statement, saying that they are aware of numerous threats made today to a variety of organizations and institutions across Colorado. They are working with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share and act upon threat information as it comes to their attention. They also noted that investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts officers from responding to an actual crisis.
The Brighton Police Department said they received a “threatening call” from an unknown person regarding Brighton High School Wednesday morning. Officers responded and nearby schools were put on lockdown. Other schools that were affected included Aspen Elementary School, Cañon City High School, and Ortega Middle School.
The call to Boulder High School came via the University of Colorado Boulder's non-emergency dispatch line at 8:33 a.m. The caller said they were outside Boulder High and armed with a gun, then said they were going into the school with “very realistic gun sounds.” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said the call was authentic and “very scary.”
For approximately half an hour, Glenwood Springs High School was in lockdown due to a swatting incident that was aimed at them. In Twin Falls, Canyon Ridge High School was evacuated Wednesday morning after receiving a report of an active shooter. The threat was found to be false.
In Estes Park, a police officer accidentally fired one round from a gun into an elementary school floor during a swatting response. At the time of the incident, there were no students or school officials present in the building and thankfully, no one was hurt.
The Boulder Valley School District tweeted on Wednesday recognizing that the incident seemed to be a case of “swatting,” when a caller fabricates an emergency to prompt the police to go to a certain area.
0. “Colorado schools placed on lockdown after receiving threats” News24, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.news24.com/news24/world/news/colorado-schools-placed-on-lockdown-after-receiving-threats-20230222
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2. “Boulder Deputy Police Chief on This Morning's Boulder High Incident” KGNU, 22 Feb. 2023, https://news.kgnu.org/2023/02/boulder-deputy-police-chief-on-this-mornings-boulder-high-incident
3. “Police receive unfounded report of active shooter at Steamboat school, amid similar threats across Colorado” Steamboat Pilot & Today, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/police-receive-unfounded-report-of-active-shooter-at-steamboat-school-amid-similar-threats-across-colorado/
4. “More than a dozen schools across Colorado receive unfounded threats” The Denver Post, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.denverpost.com/2023/02/22/colorado-school-threats-shooter-bomb/
5. “Aspen School District one of several ‘swatting’ victims across the state” Aspen Daily News, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.aspendailynews.com/news/aspen-school-district-one-of-several-swatting-victims-across-the-state/article_5e3111d6-b304-11ed-95e9-17924515ef67.html
6. “Swatting calls came into Colorado schools in alphabetical order” 9News.com KUSA, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/colorado-high-school-lock-downs/73-3981a7dc-b1fc-45f3-9edf-8e7a46eb3f29
7. “Multiple Colorado school districts enter lockdown after unconfirmed threats Wednesday. Here's what we know” Colorado Public Radio, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.cpr.org/2023/02/22/colorado-school-threats-what-we-know/
8. “Boulder High evacuated after unfounded report of shooter possibly tied to statewide ‘swatting' hoax” Yahoo! Voices, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/news/boulder-high-evacuated-unfounded-report-042100864.html
9. “Hoax phone calls + Local grocery sales + Nampa golf courses – BoiseDev” boisedev.com, 23 Feb. 2023, https://boisedev.com/newsletter/zeeks-pizza-homeless-art-collective-seasonal-dog-parks-ending-2-2-2-2-2-2-2/
10. “Officer fires gun during school swatting investigation” FOX 31 Denver, 23 Feb. 2023, https://kdvr.com/news/local/officer-fires-gun-during-estes-park-swatting-investigation/
11. “No injuries reported after call prompts lockdown at Boulder High School” 9News.com KUSA, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/boulder-high-school-lockdown-shelter-in-place/73-4d5f3593-65be-4763-9036-7409c5b3fb42