Hoax call to Biloxi Police said 6 students were “down” at junior high

The FBI is already investigating a recent trend of swatting calls to high schools around the...
The FBI is already investigating a recent trend of swatting calls to high schools around the country where people make false reports of active shooters on school campuses. They’re often seen at the start of a new school year, or following a mass school shooting.(MGN/Pexels)
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 9:36 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 12:18 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Friday morning, authorities across Mississippi investigated reports of possible active shooters at schools, including schools in Biloxi, Moss Point, and Hancock and Pearl River counties. All the calls turned out to be false reports, and within an hour the schools were given the all clear by officials.

The call to Biloxi Police came in on the department’s non-emergency phone line and described there being an active shooter at Biloxi Junior High, and six students were down. Officials in Hancock County said they received a similar call about Hancock High School, describing the same scenario.

Calls with specific details and appearing to come from inside a school are hallmarks of swatting, and have been happening in several states. The FBI is investigating a recent trend of swatting calls to high schools across the country where people make false reports of active shooters. According to the FBI, they’re often seen at the start of a new school year, or following a mass school shooting.

All the South Mississippi schools named in Friday morning’s calls were out for fall break, and few people were on campus. But some teachers were at the schools in Biloxi for training and professional development. Officers searched each school, room-by-room, to verify everything was okay before giving the all clear.

Authorities across Mississippi on Friday received calls about threats at more than a dozen different school districts. None of those threats were real.

Biloxi Schools released a statement Friday just after 10 a.m. saying, “All Biloxi Schools were put on a precautionary lockdown today after Biloxi PD received a threatening call. All emergency protocols were followed, every campus was cleared by Biloxi PD and all staff and the few students on campus are safe. Today was a professional development day for staff, school was not in session for students,” a representative said. “We do not believe this was a credible threat and no one was in any danger, but we would like to thank our staff and the Biloxi PD for their quick and efficient response.”

Hancock School District released a similar statement saying, “Earlier today, there was a call received by the Hancock Sheriff’s Department of an active shooter at Hancock High School. The Sheriff’s Department reacted swiftly in arriving to the school and working to clear the school, room by room. No one was found on campus. Students and staff are currently on fall break. We would like to thank the Hancock Sheriff’s Department for their swift response.”

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