RPD: No active shooter, no threat at Lourdes High School
(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Police said in a news conference that there is no active threat at Lourdes High School after an active shooter call came in Wednesday morning.
Later in the day after the school had been properly swept, the call was determined a hoax.
RPD says at 10:06 a.m., a call came into dispatch from an internet-based phone number claiming that there were shots fired inside Lourdes High School with students injured.
For students, the situation afterwards felt real.
“It’s kinda scary to actually think about something like that actually happening because you always hear about it in the news and you never really think it would happen in rochester, yet alone your school,” said senior Amelia Gossam.
The call triggered a multi-agency response from RPD, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Rochester Fire Department, Mayo Clinic Ambulance, BCA, and other unmarked squad cars.
A command system was rapidly formed between all agencies to manage the incident.
While the situation became chaotic outside the school, students inside were gathered in the auditorium for convocation, unaware of what was going on outside.
“We had no clue what was going on at the time,” said Lourdes High School senior, Aidan Jahns.
“At first they just closed the doors and they didn’t say anything, so we were kind of like ‘well something must be going on,” said Gossam. “Then, I got a text from one of my friends at Mayo [High School] and she was like ‘are you okay please tell me okay,’ and we were kind of getting scared at that point because we were getting videos of people driving by and there were a lot of cops.”
Police officers were rapidly deployed throughout the school where they quickly assessed there was not a threat, or active shooter.
Many students said the way the situation was dealt with by staff and police made them feel safe.
“The way that they handled it was kind of reassuring cause I’m sure if they would have told us what they initially thought was happening, everybody would’ve started freaking out,” Gossam explained.
“You hear about these things all the time, like school shootings and stuff, and you’re like could it be real? But, you never really know until maybe you hear shots or anything like that,” added Jahns.
RPD says there were no injuries among students or faculty. While the situation was upsetting for the school as well as the community, many are relieved it was not a reality.
“These types of incidents when real, are probably some of the most horrific, horrendous things that somebody may have to deal with in their career,” said Rochester Police Chief, Jim Franklin, at a press conference. “So, there’s a huge sigh of relief that no one is injured, no ones harmed and that this was not real.”
Olmsted County Sheriff, Kevin Torgerson, was also at the press conference, and the department was heavily involved in the situation as well.
“This is a reality, unfortunately, and it’s a really sad reality in our country and our world today that these kind of things happen. Both where it actually happens, unfortunately, and where these kinds of things happen as somebody’s sick joke,” Sheriff Torgerson added at the press conference.
The Minnesota BCA says there have been multiple false active shooter threats to schools across the state Wednesday morning.
We are aware of multiple swatting incidents involving active shooter events or mass casualties at schools across Minnesota. Local law enforcement are responding. No incidents have turned out to be real.— Minnesota BCA (@MnDPS_BCA) September 21, 2022
An investigation will be launched to determine who was behind the phone hoax.
Authorities say the area code of the internet-based number used was not from Minnesota, however the voice behind the call was that of an actual person.
A spokesperson from Lourdes High School said there was minimal disruption felt in the school as almost all students were in the auditorium at the time for a convocation.
All operations at Lourdes High School will resume, however any student who wishes to go home may do do.
RPD and Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office will be providing additional patrols to schools in Rochester and Olmsted County.
Watch the RPD press conference below, if using the ABC 6 News Mobile App, CLICK HERE.
ABC 6 news will provide more information when it becomes available.