Heavy Police Presence At Nouvel Catholic High School, Others Around State As Threatening Calls Made
Police are calling it a hoax.
Around 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, a call was made to police, allegedly by a teacher within the school of possibly a gunshot heard within Nouvel Catholic Central High School in Saginaw Township. Saginaw Township Police, Michigan State Police, and the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, as well as others responded as the school was placed into secure mode. After conducting thorough sweeps of the building and ensuring the student’s safety, police were preparing to give the all clear.
Police say there was no credible threat.
Parents who showed up to the school to check on their children were directed to St. Thomas Aquinas School near Nouvel. Classes were dismissed the day, and students were released to parents.
The hoax, also called a “swatting” call, also happened at several other schools around the state at roughly the same time the Nouvel incident. Calls were made about schools in Okemos, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Portage and Muskegon. Swatting calls are a type of hoax made in attempts to get emergency services to respond.
According to Michigan State Police Critical Infrastructior Protection, multiple law enforcement agencies are reporting similar incidents, including a caller with a heavy accent, stating that they are a teacher within the school and reporting that a student has shot another student. MSP says these are part of a coordinated campaign targeting K-12 schools in Michigan and they are monitoring the situation.
There are also reports of swatting calls being made in other areas of the United States.
Police are reminding residents that any prank or fake calls of this nature is a serious crime.
State Attorney General Dana Nessel has also released a statement with a warning about making false threats.
“Threats of violence in our schools disrupt the classroom, tax our local law enforcement agencies and harm our students’ sense of safety,” said Nessel. “Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences. It’s critical that adults and students alike understand the seriousness of these threats and the criminal charges they could face.”
Nessel explains the potential charges one could face if they make a threat of violence, which include:
- communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony;
- calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony;
- malicious use of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and
- threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor.
Additionally, swatting could result in the following charges:
- false report of a crime, a 93-day misdemeanor;
- false report resulting in physical injury, a 5-year felony;
- false report resulting in a serious bodily impairment, a 10-year felony; and/or
- false report resulting in a death, a 15-year felony.
In addition to serving time in jail or prison, those that are found guilty of these crimes can face fines of up to $50,000.
If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, please contact your local law enforcement.
You can also leave a tip with the state’s OK2SAY hotline by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729) or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). The hotline operates 24/7 and protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.
OK2SAY, which is housed within the Michigan State Police, provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others, or criminal acts including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, assault, or rape, directed at students, school employees, or schools in this state.