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Swatting calls target Bismarck High and other ND schools



Bismarck, North Dakota – Schools in North Dakota were put on lockdown on Thursday morning following a phone call reporting an active shooter.

When police arrived on the scene, they found that the event was a false alarm. The swatting incident was the call that was received.

Swatting is the practice of calling emergency services on purpose in an effort to send a large contingent of armed police officers to a certain address. This incident, which placed students and staff in lockdown, affected Bismarck High School as well as numerous other schools around the state.

“After a while it was like oh this actually may be something, and it kind of started to set in like 45 minutes, and then it just got longer and longer. We were just sitting there and no one knew what was going on,” said Gabe Hamlin, student at Bismarck High School.

According to the Bismarck Police Department, dispatch picked up the phone call at 9:45 a.m. The caller identified themselves as an active shooter. As the dispatcher overheard gunfire in the background, they called the police to arrive.

“They immediately respond, and they look for the threat and the first thing they want to do is end that threat.,” said Dave Draovitch, Bismarck Chief of Police.

Children were sending their parents notes about the situation from inside the school as their parents waited outside.

“My parents texted me a lot. The whole time. We were just sitting in class and I was on my phone, so I was texting them. They knew more than I did,” said Hamlin.

The number and frequency of swatting calls are rising countrywide.

“We get some here every once in a while. It’s been happening all over the country, really the same thing that happened to us today. Plus it happened in several other cities in North Dakota today too,” said Draovitch.

The kids we spoke to did not comprehend the motivation behind someone wanting to do this.

“It brings a lot of harm and stress to people. A lot of people were crying today, there was people calling their parents all day today,” said Hamlin.

Police stated they will act appropriately to protect children and employees, despite the fact that all of these instances throughout the state were fake.