Report of shooting at Sacramento school was swatting call

Sacramento police determined that a false report of a shooting at Christian Brothers High School was a swatting call, a trend that law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with.Zach Eaton with the Sacramento Police Department told KCRA 3 that someone called 911 around 10:30 am Tuesday claiming six students were shot inside a chemistry classroom at Christian Brothers High School. Although school officials told police they did not hear of a shooting, officers still jumped into action.”This is one of the most serious types of calls that we can get, with everything that’s gone on in the country in the past couple years and the amount of school shootings,” Eaton said. “We continued to respond to the scene, and we actually ended up physically checking the school, ultimately determining that the call was a hoax.”Swatting calls are problematic because they can lead to a large law enforcement response. Sacramento police told KCRA 3 they are now investigating where Tuesday’s call came from, and they said these hoaxes are frustrating when it comes to having to divert their resources. “When we’re responding to calls of this magnitude, we’re not only using the resources that are assigned to where Christian Brothers is, but we’re using the resources that are assigned throughout the city and those resources are being pulled from other Areas of the city that need those resources, so it’s a very serious matter,” Eaton said. There have been other recent swatting calls in parts of California. In the Central Coast, three Salinas-area schools were placed on lockdown after false reports of an active shooter, according to Hearst affiliate KSBW. And in Santa Cruz, a shooting hoax was reported at a high school. Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said one major issue is that some callers are taking advantage of technology, such as voice-over IP that can mask where a call is coming from.”The technology can be abused to the extent that it creates the appearance that there’s a legitimate 911 call coming from a given location,” McGinness said. Still, Eaton said Sacramento police are confident in their ability to handle these swatting cases.”We have very skilled detectives and trained detectives who know exactly how to track down people who call in hoaxes,” Eaton said. Sacramento police have a message for anyone making these calls.”This is no laughing matter,” Eaton said. “This stuff isn’t a joke.”According to California Penal Code Section 148.3, callers who make a false report can be charged with a misdemeanor and jail time. But if the false report leads to great bodily injury or death, the caller can be charged with a felony.

Sacramento police determined that a false report of a shooting at Christian Brothers High School was a swatting call, a trend that law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with.

Zach Eaton with the Sacramento Police Department told KCRA 3 that someone called 911 around 10:30 am Tuesday claiming six students were shot inside a chemistry classroom at Christian Brothers High School. Although school officials told police they did not hear of a shooting, officers still jumped into action.

“This is one of the most serious types of calls that we can get, with everything that’s gone on in the country in the past couple years and the amount of school shootings,” Eaton said. “We continued to respond to the scene, and we actually ended up physically checking the school, ultimately determining that the call was a hoax.”

Swatting calls are problematic because they can lead to a large law enforcement response. Sacramento police told KCRA 3 they are now investigating where Tuesday’s call came from, and they said these hoaxes are frustrating when it comes to having to divert their resources.

“When we’re responding to calls of this magnitude, we’re not only using the resources that are assigned to where Christian Brothers is, but we’re using the resources that are assigned throughout the city and those resources are being pulled from other Areas of the city that need those resources, so it’s a very serious matter,” Eaton said.

There have been other recent swatting calls in parts of California. In the Central Coast, three Salinas-area schools were placed on lockdown after false reports of an active shooter, according to Hearst affiliate KSBW. And in Santa Cruz, a shooting hoax was reported at a high school.

Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said one major issue is that some callers are taking advantage of technology, such as voice-over IP that can mask where a call is coming from.

“The technology can be abused to the extent that it creates the appearance that there’s a legitimate 911 call coming from a given location,” McGinness said.

Still, Eaton said Sacramento police are confident in their ability to handle these swatting cases.

“We have very skilled detectives and trained detectives who know exactly how to track down people who call in hoaxes,” Eaton said.

Sacramento police have a message for anyone making these calls.

“This is no laughing matter,” Eaton said. “This stuff isn’t a joke.”

According to California Penal Code Section 148.3, callers who make a false report may be charged with a misdemeanor and jail time. But if the false report leads to great bodily injury or death, the caller can be charged with a felony.

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