Minnesota Fusion Center monitoring hoax calls

[anvplayer video=”5165165″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Minnesota Fusion Center is aware of eight hoax school shooting calls made to Minnesota 911 call centers over the past two days.

All appeared to have come from the same individual, who used Voice Over IP to conduct the calls.

Four of these calls happened Tuesday in northern Minnesota, 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.

Monday, two elementary schools in southern Minnesota were targeted. These calls happened at Banfield Elementary School in Austin and Halverson Elementary School in Albert Lea.

The Mower County dispatcher receiving the Banfield 911 call says they heard what sounded like gunshots.

Local law enforcement officials are calling the nationwide trend disturbing, saying they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

The MNFC sent an alert to law enforcement across Minnesota for their situational awareness.

RELATED: Four Minnesota schools receive swatting threats Tuesday

Minnesota saw 27 hoax school shooting calls in 2022, including 17 in September 2022.

Incidents of mass hoax threats targeting schools have also occurred nationally in waves. To date, none were found to be legitimate; however, law enforcement must still treat each incident seriously.

The BCA implemented a statewide method for reporting threats of school violence in the state in 2021.

Students, parents, and school professionals can use the See It, Say It, Send It app to send a tip to the BCA using their cell phones or other mobile devices.

The BCA will notify local law enforcement and assist as needed with the response to criminal activity.