Four Minnesota schools receive swatting threats Tuesday

Tuesday, schools in St. Louis County including Denfeld, Ely, Eveleth, and Hibbing, received swatting threats around noon, according to Hubbard affiliate WDIO. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office says calls went to several media outlets, as well as some police departments directly.

Denfeld says there is a heavy police presence at the high school. As a precaution, they closed off-campus lunch today and kept all students in the building.

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“Swatting” is the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.

Duluth Schools believe there is no credible threat because the call came from out of state. With the presence of Duluth Police Officers and these precautions the schools feels students and staff are safe at this time. 

On Monday, Banfield elementary in Austin received a similar swatting call that an active shooter was at Banfield Elementary School. The call ended with what the dispatcher believed were gunshots in the background.

APS officials and law enforcement determined the incident was not credible, and the school has returned to normal operations.

Also Monday, Albert Lea police said they responded to a reported bomb threat at Halverson Elementary School at 9:35 a.m., Monday, 18 minutes before the Austin incident.

Albert Lea Police said this is the third such incident at Albert Lea Area Schools they have responded to in the 2022-2023 school year.