Fake call to 911 in Manchester prompts school lockdown in Vernon - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Fake call to 911 in Manchester prompts school lockdown in nearby Vernon

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An elementary school in Vernon was placed on lockdown after someone falsely reported shots fired in nearby Manchester on Monday afternoon, police said.

The Lake Street School was placed on lockdown at about 2:15 p.m. after a call to police about shots being fired on Deer Run Trail. An unidentified man told Manchester police that there was 10 shots fired inside a house in that area and "additionally hearing screaming coming from the home."

After a brief investigation, police told Eyewitness News that they determined the emergency call was "a hoax" and could be related to "recent Swatting calls" received by multiple Connecticut towns.

Police said no injures were reported. No shots were fired.

The homeowner on Deer Run Trail didn't make the call, according to police.

Swatting is an international internet gaming prank where someone calls in a bogus 911 call to get the 'swat' team to respond, police said.

The following departments have been recently victimized by Swatting:

  • Willimantic
  • Greenwich
  • Westbrook 
  • Old Saybrook

Swatting is a misdemeanor punishable to up to a year in jail but could be upgraded to a felony if anyone got hurt.

Officials said the lockdown at Lake Street School was brief and the students were dismissed at about 2:45 p.m.

"I saw about three or four cops' cars by bridal path, they were blocking the street off," said Robert Andrew, who was picking up his son at Lake Street School. "When it's not real and something happens, they may not have the response time next time."

The incident remains under investigation and anyone with any information is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 860-645-5500.

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