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Colorado police responded to multiple false school shooting threats across the state on Monday.
At approximately 1:53 p.m. local time, police responded to a report of an active shooter at Denver East High School, prompting a lockdown. The report was ultimately proven to be unfounded, and students were able to reunite with their parents at 3:30 p.m. There were concerns that the report may have been linked to the school's lockdown drill on Friday, which is required every semester by state law, according to Chief of the Department of Safety for Denver Public Schools Mike Dean.
"We want to train our students to take any type of emergency notification seriously," Dean said in an interview with Denver City Wire. "So, when those drills occur obviously we work with the school to initiate those drills but students and staff should always take those seriously."
Other Colorado schools were victims of similar hoaxes around the same time. According to the City of Alamosa, Alamosa High School was visited by police following an "unfounded threat felt to be a prank call". Montrose High School in western Colorado was also put on lockdown after a false threat. Delta and Cedaredge High Schools in Delta County received similar calls at approximately the same time, according to the Delta Police Department. The Colorado Springs Police Department also claimed to have received a "swatting" threat about a local school. The call was quickly identified as a hoax, and no students or staff were threatened.
According to KKTV, the Denver FBI is investigating whether the various calls are connected, referring to them as "swatting". "Swatting" is a type of prank where someone calls a police department about an emergency at a specific address, despite the emergency not actually existing.