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Multiple Michigan schools hit with 'swatting' attempts

Authorities learned of the fake threats made to schools in Muskegon, Okemos, Detroit, Portage, Haslett, Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Jackson.

MICHIGAN, USA — Fake threats reporting a shooting at multiple schools across Michigan are causing concern for parents Tuesday morning.

The schools so far impacted are in Muskegon, Okemos, Detroit, Portage, Haslett, Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Jackson. 

Michigan State Police said there were also false reports of bomb threats and active shooters at schools throughout the state. None of them have been deemed credible.

"Local, state, & federal authorities, along with school and other community resources are all working diligently to address this deplorable & unlawful behavior. Making false threats of violence causes a significant amount of stress to students, schools, parents, businesses, & community at large," Michigan State Police from southwest Michigan said.

"It also causes necessary lockdowns to clear each venue to ensure the safety of all." 

Muskegon Public Schools Superintendent Matt Cortez said there are many social media posts sharing false reports of violence at Muskegon High School. 

Parents and Community....There are a number of false threat reports on social media and being called in across multiple...

Posted by Muskegon Public Schools on Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Credit: Virginia Dean

Portage Northern High School was also a target of the threats.

The district said that the Portage Department of Public Safety Information Center received a report of an active shooter at the high school around 9:35 a.m.

The caller said that there had been multiple shots fired at the school.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the call and it was immediately determined that the threat was false.

This appears to be a swatting attempt on multiple schools across the state. 

Swatting is defined as a prank call to emergency services with the goal to send law enforcement to a particular location. 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said these threats of violence have serious consequences. 

Nessel explains the potential charges one could face if they make a threat of violence, which include: 

  • communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony; 
  • calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony; 
  • malicious use of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and 
  • threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor. 

Additionally, swatting could result in the following charges: 

  • false report of a crime, a 93-day misdemeanor; 
  • false report resulting in physical injury, a 5-year felony; 
  • false report resulting in a serious bodily impairment, a 10-year felony; and/or 
  • false report resulting in a death, a 15-year felony. 

In addition to serving time in jail or prison, those that are found guilty of these crimes can face fines of up to $50,000.00.  

Okemos authorities said around 9 a.m. Tuesday they learned about a false report of an active shooter at the high school. Everyone was declared safe and the building was secured. 

If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, please contact your local law enforcement.  

You're asked to call 911, your local police agency or call 8555-OK2SAY, text 652729 if you know any info about who is responsible for these disruptively dangerous calls.  

This is a developing story. Check back in for updates. 


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