Legal Expert Provides Insight On Swatting Calls Following False Active Shooter Call At Bishop McGuinness

A 911 call that claimed there was an active shooter and injured students at Bishop McGuinness has been confirmed as a hoax. 

Friday, September 16th 2022, 5:47 pm



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A 911 call that claimed there was an active shooter and injured students Thursday at Bishop McGuinness has been confirmed as a hoax. 

These kinds of calls are known as swatting.

News 9 spoke to legal expert Ed Blau about what exactly swatting is and what the caller could face if caught.

“Swatting is where somebody calls 911 for the purpose of the SWAT team or a large emergency response being sent to either a home, school or business when there is in fact no emergency,” said Blau.

Blau said the call could have come from anywhere. 

“In a situation like this, this could be just a pure hoax by somebody out of state that just randomly picked Bishop McGuinness High School.”

“If this person was calling from a cell phone, the police would know. If they were calling from a payphone or burner phone, we may never figure out who it is,” said Blau.

“It's a misdemeanor, making a fake 911 call and basically the most punishment they could get is a $500 fine. However, he or she could be charged for the entire amount of the response,” Blau said.

The caller could be charged the price of the response, along with all of the expenses involved in the investigation. 

Oklahoma City police and local law enforcement responded to the call in minutes.

“The call basically said that there was an active shooter in the school, that students were injured and said that they were in a certain classroom,” said OCPD Capt. Valerie Littlejohn. 

Staff at Integris were notified of the call and immediately began making a plan for the worst-case scenario. 

“Making space and clearing some rooms to be able to take multiple people at the same time.” Dr. Dillon Roach with Integris said there was an external code in place momentarily.

“We heard that there were 14 kids involved, we didn't know how many we might be receiving. So, we really just tried to prepare as best we could,” said Roach.

Littlejohn said there were two officers on campus at the time of the call who saw no threat at the time. Even so, police went through the school two times to thoroughly check.

“When they went through the school, they did not locate anybody injured, they did not locate any active threat,” said Littlejohn

“It appeared that the call came from somewhere other than the campus.”

She said they were aware of other similar calls at schools including Wichita, Topeka and St. Louis, but wasn't sure yet if they were all connected.

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