FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Despite rumors, Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said there was no active shooter at Bullard High School on Wednesday.
“There was in fact, no active shooter at the school. No one hurt, no guns, no shots fired whatsoever,” Balderrama said.
Balderrama said at 11:56 a.m. Wednesday morning Fresno Police were dispatched to Bullard High School following a 911 call. He said four minutes later officers arrived and made entry into the school, and four minutes after that, officers determined there was not a shooting on campus.
“At least 40 police units, specialized units descended onto this school, fearing the worst, that our most precious resource, our children might have been hurt,” Balderrama said.
Police kept Bullard and nearby Gibson Elementary School on lockdown as officers continued to search the school.
Balderrama said they’re investigating if this hoax call is connected to threats made at other California schools on Wednesday in Santa Barbara, Chula Vista, and in Lancaster.
A false 911 call like this could result in up to one year of jail time and a $1,000 fine. it would be a misdemeanor, but the United States attorney’s office says some additional charges could come if it’s found the threats cross state lines.
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said she believes this isn’t enough of a punishment.
“The chances of that person going to jail if they’re an adult is probably zero,” Smittcamp said.
Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said while he’s relieved no one was injured, he said this hoax was a huge distraction in the school day. He said the situation caused unneeded trauma for parents, students, and staff.
“I don’t like my kids being exposed to people with guns drawn walking the hallways, but that’s a far better outcome than having to face people if we didn’t intervene,” Nelson said.
Starting in October, Bullard is set to enact a strict no cell phone policy. When asked if this would prompt changes to the upcoming policy at Bullard High School, Superintendent Nelson said that decision would still be left up to the principal.