GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX CAROLINA) – State and federal agents are investigating more than a dozen schools across South Carolina after false calls were reported Wednesday morning about active shooters — who investigators believe may be from another country.
The Greenville Police Department said it was reported as a false shooting Greenville High School, but a school resource officer was on scene and reported no activity related to a shooting. After police arrived at the school and searched the building, it was confirmed that there was no shooting.
“Although today’s threat was a hoax, Greenville County Schools takes all reports of this type seriously and responds to the full extent,” said district spokesman Tim Waller.
Additional law enforcement will be on Greenville High’s campus for the rest of the day as a precaution.
It was just one of many hoax threats reported across the state.
Gov. Henry McMaster addressed the events at a construction event in Greenville on Wednesday, saying, “It’s ridiculous, it’s a crime.”
“I have been informed by law enforcement that those are not legitimate calls,” McMaster said. “I hope they find out who is doing it and I hope that behavior stops immediately.”
Police respond to a false shooting call at Greenville High
A similar fake shooter call has also been reported Robert Anderson Middle SchoolBut the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said there was no threat.
“Anytime there is a threat at any of our schools, we respond as if our own children were there,” a spokeswoman for the agency said.
A viewer shared a picture of a large crowd of parents trying to pick up their children at Robert Anderson Middle after the call came in.
Granddaughter Cynthia Randolph, who attends Robert Anderson Middle School, said the experience was terrifying, but law enforcement and school officials did a great job handling the incident.
“It was such a relief to know it was a fake prank phone call,” Randolph said. “Knowing you can hold your babies and take them home is even better.”
Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said deputies treated the threat as real until the entire building was cleared. He called it a “ridiculous amount of time and effort,” but said everyone was determined to protect the children at Robert Anderson Middle School.
“But I can tell you, whether it’s false or not or fake or not, we’re still going to respond,” McBride said. “I hope parents know, especially in Anderson County: You will never see a response like we saw in Uvalde, Texas. It’s something you never see. “
The person responsible for the fraud also had strong words.
Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride had strong words for whoever is behind the false active shooter calls being reported at schools in SC.
Greenwood School District 50 said Greenwood High School Received an automated call about an active shooter. Law enforcement responded immediately and cleared the building. Nothing unusual was found.
The Lawrence Police Department received an unfounded call about an active shooter Lawrence High School. Police said they quickly realized there was no active threat and as a precaution, checked all schools in the city limits.
The School District of Oconee County On Wednesday afternoon, police received a hoax call about a shooting at a school in the district. Additional staff and law enforcement will remain on site throughout the day, the district said.
Spartanburg School District 7 said it also fielded a fake shooting call Spartanburg High School.
In all, fake shooting calls were reported in at least 15 South Carolina counties Wednesday, including the following counties:
Officials in Richland County said the incidents stemmed from a challenge on Tik Tok.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said it is evaluating the credibility of threats and encourages each jurisdiction to take threats seriously, even if they believe they are a hoax.
SLED said it is actively working with federal law enforcement partners on the investigation.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Kiel said the calls are almost identical, alleging a child has been shot or someone has been killed at school.
“They think this voice or this transmission is coming from another country,” McMaster said. “It’s a foreign sound… they believe it’s all fake.
Gov. Henry McMaster has released new details about a series of fake calls reporting fake shooter situations at schools across the state.
McMaster said the incidents aren’t just in South Carolina — similar situations have occurred in other states. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also involved in the case.
A local spokesperson for the FBI released the following statement:
“The FBI is aware of several incidents that report an active shooter at a school. Similar incidents have occurred across the country recently. The FBI takes this very seriously because it puts innocent people in harm’s way. Although we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. We urge the public to remain vigilant and report all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.
Attorney General Alan Wilson tweeted that he was disgusted by the active shooter calls, saying “the state doesn’t take them as a joke.”
Law enforcement takes active shooter situations very seriously. False claims are no joke, and prosecutors across the state don’t find them funny.
I am disgusted by the recent reports of false active shooter situations in South Carolina schools.
— Alan Wilson (@AGAlanWilson) October 5, 2022
Stay with FOX Carolina for updates on this developing story.
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