CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On Wednesday evening officials with Fresno Police and the Clovis Unified School District held a meeting for parents to receive updates on the lockdowns disrupting Clovis West High School and Fort Washington Elementary School.
Three times in the past week, both schools have been placed on lockdowns following threatening calls about planned school shootings on the high school campus.
And while each time students have been safe, with no threat to students, Clovis Unified Communications Chief Officer Kelly Avants said they’re working with Fresno Police to put an end to the threats.
“We recognize that these are scary instances, exactly what perpetrators like this want,” Avants said.
Police said these “swatting calls” are coming from outside of the United States. In order to not compromise the investigation, the nature of the calls we’re not fully released to the public, but officers say the callers claim they are planning a school shooting.
Police believe all three calls are connected and the threats are empty. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office got two of the calls, and the other went to Fresno Police dispatch. Officers then alerted the school, where the campus, along with the nearby elementary school, we’re placed on lockdown.
Parents like Jesse Chacon, who has a senior at Clovis West attended Wednesday’s meeting and said he thinks the school is responding appropriately.
“More frustrated, but also worried for our kids. It’s more scary for our kids but I’m just glad that it is getting taken care of,” Chacon said.
Police said despite the caller being foreign, they’re working on tracking down the suspect. Police said if anyone is found, it could result in felony charges.
Avants also said they’re focused on limiting any copycat calls.
“There’s hundreds of people on your tail and for students who even get online and make a threat, there are extreme legal consequences if you are caught and if you are found, and quite often you are,” Avants said.
Police also said they do not know why the calls focus on Clovis West if they are originating from outside of the country, but they said it is likely just random.