UPDATED: Pasco students called in a fake school shooting at Reynold Middle School
UPDATE: Pasco police officials offered further comments on the fake school shooting threat that shut down Ray Reynolds Middle School and two other local schools on Thursday afternoon.
In addition to Pasco PD officers, teams from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Kennewick Police Department also responded to the schools to assist with their efforts. Since there was a strong relationship between the police department and school district, Pasco Police were able to clear up the situation quickly.
“We have a great partnership with the Pasco School District, and at every middle school and high school, we have a school resource officer there,” Sgt. Pruneda said. “So we were able to respond very quickly, and contain that situation. ”
He went on to mention that school buses arrived to pick children up shortly after the lockdown was lifted. An early dismissal, which is consistent for students across the region on Wednesday afternoons, was set to take place today. This incident left many parents scared, confused, and upset with the police department for not alerting them sooner.
“[Parents] have to understand—yes it’s frightening, yes it’s upsetting that they didn’t get a phone call that this was going on at their child’s school, but it’s something that’s very dynamic— it’s very high risk, there’s a lot of things that were going on with this situation that we have to take care of first, and then we can make those phone calls,” Sgt. Pruneda explained.
No further details regarding disciplinary action for the student(s) involved have been announced.
The following breaking news story from midday on Sept. 8 has been left unaltered.
PASCO, Wash. — Three schools in Pasco were locked down temporarily on Wednesday afternoon after at least one student called 9-1-1 and claimed that a school shooting threat was imminent at Reynolds Middle School.
According to Sgt. Pruneda of the Pasco Police Department, several calls were placed to 9-1-1 around 12:50 p.m. on September 8. In the calls, dispatchers heard children mentioning a school shooting.
That prompted Pasco Police and Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputies to respond to the scene of Reynolds Middle School, Delta High School, and Columbia River Elementary. Each of the schools was locked down as local law enforcement agents entered the buildings and inspected them.
Once that inspection was completed, authorities tracked down a middle school student who allegedly placed the calls to 9-1-1. Sgt. Pruneda said it was an unfortunate scenario in which local law enforcement had to react as if there was a legitimate school shooting threat.
These lockdowns have since been lifted for all three schools, where there is no imminent threat.
Students involved with this incident are being spoken to by the police officers and school administrators. Their course of discipline will be determined by the school. Whether or not they will face legal discipline will be decided by the courts, PPD officials say.
This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued if further details are brought to light.
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