Active shooter report at Savannah High was a hoax, according to school officials

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 9:11 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 4:49 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A reported active shooter at Savannah High School on Wednesday was a hoax, according to school officials.

Law enforcement first received the call close to 9 a.m. that several people were injured in a school shooting. Multiple agencies responded to the school and began evacuating the building and investigating the scene.

An official with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System said this call end up being a hoax and no one was injured.

Chuck Kearns, with Chatham Emergency Services, said one person was treated for a seizure at the school.

Since finding out that there wasn’t a shooting on campus, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson says it’s a big sigh of relief for the community.

Mayor Johnson also said the spread of rumors and misinformation about what’s going on fed into the fear of the day.

While it turned out to be a hoax, Mayor Johnson says moments like today are still alarming to the community.

“It’s very scary for parents. I think we thank God that it wasn’t true. We hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll be able to move on. I think that obviously there’s a larger investigation that the FBI and hopefully Savannah Police will be involved in about who started it. We have to make sure that we are very clear that that type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable,” Mayor Johnson said.

This call was one of many false reports or hoaxes across several school districts in Georgia. Governor Brian Kemp released a statement saying, “the FBI is actively investigating these acts of domestic terrorism.”

The FBI field office in Atlanta has stated they’re aware of the threats made against several schools today, and they’re supporting local law enforcement as needed.

Below is a statement from the FBI:

“The FBI is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. FBI agents across Georgia are working alongside our law enforcement partners in identifying the source of the hoax threats. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide more details. However, it is important to note that law enforcement is going to use all available resources to investigate a school threat until we determine whether it is real or not. Investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts us from responding to an actual crisis. Hoax threats can shut down schools, cause undue stress and fear to the public, and cost taxpayers a lot of money; not to mention ruin the future of those making the hoax threats as they’ll likely have a criminal record, like the student featured in this video: We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”

There were similar fake school shooting reports in South Carolina in early October.