Police receive unfounded report of active shooter at Steamboat school, amid similar threats across Colorado | SteamboatToday.com

Police receive unfounded report of active shooter at Steamboat school, amid similar threats across Colorado

Steamboat Police said there is no threat, and Denver FBI said none of the threats across the state have been credible

Law enforcement in Steamboat Springs received threats of an active shooter situation in a school on Wednesday, Feb. 22, similar to many that have been reported across Colorado, but police say there is no threat.

Students in Steamboat Springs are not in school this week, as it is Blues Break. Steamboat Springs Police Sgt. Evan Noble said authorities received a bulletin earlier in the day to warn dispatchers they may receive such a threat, which law enforcement refers to as swatting.

“There’s been multiple reports of the same thing going on,” Noble said. “They are what we call swatting calls, so someone is calling into dispatch lines stating there is some sort of emergency going on in order to draw police response.”

“The (communications) center was actively expecting this to actually come in,” he continued. “There’s no known threat.”

From Boulder to Glenwood Springs, schools in several communities across the state received similar calls on Wednesday, according to the Denver Post. The Post reported these calls ranged from bomb threats to active shooters to “unknown incidents.”

The FBI in Denver said in a statement to the Steamboat Pilot & Today that the bureau is aware of the threats but that they “have no information at this time to indicate a specific and credible threat.”

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“FBI Denver is aware of numerous threats made today to a variety of organizations and institutions across Colorado,” spokesperson Vikki Migoya said in the statement. “We continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention.

“Law enforcement will use all available resources to investigate a threat until we determine whether it is real or not,” the statement continues. “Investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts officers from responding to an actual crisis. … We urge the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”

Migoya said she didn’t anticipate a further update from the bureau.

Similar threats were received in Alamosa, Aspen, Aurora, Boulder, Brighton, Brush, Canon City, Englewood, Estes Park, Glenwood Springs, Gilpin County and Littleton, according to the Denver Post. At various schools, students went into lockdown, but no injuries have been reported across the state.

In a news conference on Wednesday outside of Boulder High School, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said a 911 call included a caller saying they were armed and firing shots, with gunfire being heard in the background, according to Denver Post reporting. Herold referred to the call as “very scary.”

Swatting, or issuing a hoax threat is a federal crime and can lead to jail time of up to five years in federal prison, as well as potential state and local charges.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported similar swatting calls on Tuesday, Feb. 21, though none turned out to be valid, according to KQEN News. Similar reports caused lockdowns in Florida and Oregon on Tuesday, according to Wear News and Yak Tri News.

At least 13 schools in Massachusetts were targeted with swatting calls a week ago on Feb. 15, which was the third day in a row that schools in that state received these calls, according to Boston.com.

Noble said this is not the first time Steamboat Police have responded to similar swatting calls.

“The police department has responded to swatting calls throughout the years,” Noble said. “It’s not something we haven’t been exposed to in the past.”

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