Austin Public Schools Superintendent talks about “swatting” campaign situation Wednesday

Schools and law enforcement agencies across Minnesota were the targets of a large “swatting” campaign Wednesday, where multiple false calls were made concerning active shooters.  Austin Public Schools were one of the districts affected by the campaign, and Superintendent Dr. Joey Page stated to KAUS that the situation was an extremely impactful and stressful one for students, staff, families and caregivers, and he added that what the district works through for such situations with local law enforcement and first responders is very important…

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has confirmed besides Austin, other schools in cities that received false active shooter reports Wednesday included Albert Lea, Minneapolis, New Ulm, Mankato Fairmont, St. Paul, Rochester, Alexandria, Cloquet, Fergus Falls, Brainerd, Rosemount, Grand Rapids and Bemidji. The agency sent out an alert telling districts, staff and students that the calls seem to be what is known as swatting, where a prank call is made in an attempt to trigger a large law enforcement response to a particular address.

Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota BCA, stated that the FBI is tracking the swatting incidents along with local agencies, and he added that anyone who is convicted of gross misdemeanor swatting could be sentenced to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both. If someone is injured or killed as a result of a swatting call, it becomes a felony and the person responsible could receive a 10-year prison sentence.