Toms River High School North was temporarily placed in a lockdown Friday after 911 dispatchers received a phone call regarding a potential shooting, police said. But the threat was unfounded and is being investigated as a “swatting” incident.
In the past several hours, news has emerged from various areas of New Jersey, indicating numerous high schools received similar threats – eliciting similar responses from police agencies.
“The call was deemed unfounded and is being investigated as a swatting incident,” police said in a statement. “We are requesting no one respond to the school as there is no active threat.”
Media sources have reported a similar incident occurred locally at Barnegat High School and Jackson Liberty High School in Ocean County. Across the state, incidents were reported at Walkill Valley Regional High School, Weequahic High School and Hamilton High School.
WNBC reported that all of the calls came in over roughly a half-hour span starting around 10:45 a.m.
“Swatting” refers to the act of placing a phony call to emergency dispatcher reporting an active shooter, hostage situation or similar scenario with the intent of eliciting a police response. Such incidents have become more common in recent years with the availability of call “spoofing” technology that makes it harder to track the sources of the calls.