Bogus Active Shooter Report Sends Police to Rochester Lourdes HS
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - There was a massive law enforcement response prompted by a swatting call at Lourdes High School in Rochester this morning.
Rochester Police, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Rochester Fire Department, and Mayo Clinic Ambulance all rushed to the Lourdes campus shortly after 10 AM after a call to law enforcement dispatch reported an active shooter incident in a second-floor classroom. The caller reported that six people had been shot, but contact was quickly made with the front office of the school and staff had no knowledge of any sort of disturbance.
Officers cleared the building and reported not finding any evidence that a shooting had taken place. Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin confirmed there never was a shooting or injuries at at the school during a news conference Wednesday morning.
Rochester Catholic Schools President Annemarie Vega said most of the students were inside the auditorium when the bogus call came in. She said parents were notified of the incident via email and said school leaders coordinated the response with law enforcement.
Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgersen said authorities notified other schools in Rochester and Olmsted County about the incident. An email sent to families from Rochester Public Schools indicates a Mayo High School student reported seeing an armed man in the parking lot, but the person was confirmed to be a law enforcement officer stopped near the school.
Mayo High went into a lockdown that has since ended. Byron and Kasson-Mantorville schools went into lockdowns during the incident. The Minnesota BCA says Rochester was one of several communities effected by the Swatting incident.
Vega said students were given the option to leave school for the day and that the school day would continue as normal. Torgersen praised the school's response to the incident and also called the swatting call a "despicable act."
Franklin said uniformed officers have been dispatched to other schools in Rochester. Torgersen said uniformed deputies are stationed at schools outside of Rochester.
The threats call came from an internet-based phone number and had a real person's voice, Franklin said. Torgersen and Franklin say their agencies train for active shooter situations and expressed relief that a shooting never happened.
A statement from the Rochester Police Department says they're actively investigating the source of the swatting call. Officers blocked off streets surrounding the school during the incident.