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FBI investigating hoax school shooting reports with local law enforcement

February 7, 2023
<p>Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, speaking at a press conference following the false report of shootings reported, at Okemos High School on Feb. 7, 2023.</p>

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, speaking at a press conference following the false report of shootings reported, at Okemos High School on Feb. 7, 2023.

Photo by Denille Reid | The State News

Okemos High School was evacuated on Tuesday, Feb. 7, after a call to police gave false reports of shots fired in the building. Various school districts around the state received similar calls.

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the dispatch call had claimed there was an active shooter inside the school and there were injuries pertaining to a specific classroom.

Wrigglesworth arrived at Okemos High School and said two Meridian Township officers entered the school and were able to get to the specific room and clear it within six minutes of the phone call being placed. The officers quickly found no signs of an active shooter or injuries on the campus.

“When we came in, we heard nothing. We saw nothing. Eerily quiet,” Wrigglesworth said. “You would think in an actual active shooter situation there would be some screams and yells, there would be kids running out of the building. We saw none of that.” 

The students were quickly evacuated to the football field where they waited for busses to arrive to take them to the reunification point at 242 Church.

FBI Special Agent David Porter said the FBI is working in coordination with several other local and state law enforcement agencies in communities affected by the hoax report.

“It's not a joke and, unfortunately, we live in an era where we see what happens when this is real,” Porter said “The drills aren't a joke. The responses aren't a joke. The resources that are spent on something like this aren't a joke. When you make false reports like this, it's dangerous and it's a crime.” 

Porter said it is still to be determined whether or not the various calls are connected at this time and since the investigation is still ongoing, Meridian Township Police Chief Ken Plaga said the details of the call are not available to be shared.

Superintendent of Okemos Public Schools John Hood also announced that the district will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 8, but sporting events on Wednesday night will resume.

“These events are traumatic for our students and our staff and our families,” Hood said. “We're gonna be providing some mental health support for our students, K-12 in our buildings including Edgewood Early Childhood Center. We'll have an opportunity for staff to come and meet with mental health counselors if they so choose, as well as our students and families to meet also with mental health professionals to give them the support they might need to process the trauma from today.” 

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