Chris Schulz Published

Department of Homeland Security Updates School Swatting Incidents

Calling 911 from smartphone

Law enforcement has updated the number of schools targeted during Wednesday’s statewide false reporting incident.

The West Virginia Department of Homeland Security was monitoring at least a dozen false reports of active shooters at schools across the state Wednesday.

Thursday morning, that number was updated to 19 false reports across 17 counties, but officials reiterated that all calls received have been deemed not credible.

False threats were received in Barbour, Berkeley, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, McDowell, Mercer, Monongalia, Ohio, Raleigh, Randolph, Taylor, and Wood counties.

These types of false reports, commonly referred to as “swatting,” are an attempt to bring a large, armed law enforcement presence to a certain location.

Swatting ties up emergency services and can be deadly.

“Our ongoing priority is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students and communities,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Rob Cunningham. “We will continue our investigation of each event and are prepared to respond again if needed. We ask the community to download our emergency response phone app and assist us in keeping our communities safe.”

Homeland Security officials said each threat received is being investigated alongside local and federal authorities.