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Hoax "active shooter" calls reported in multiple school districts in Ohio and elsewhere

Columbus police say a call came in about an alleged shooting at East High School Tuesday afternoon at 12:45. Police and fire responded, but found no threat. The Delaware County Sheriff's office received a call a short time later, claiming there was a similar situation at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center. The building was evacuated, but the sheriff's office later confirmed the call was a hoax.

Law enforcement in Dayton, Akron, Cincinnati and Clermont County also got the prank calls. But it wasn't just an Ohio phenomena; in Iowa, officials reported calls in as many as 30 districts.

The practice of "swatting" - intentionally reporting a fake or misleading threat in order to trigger a response from emergency services - is illegal.

Following a wave of swatting calls in 2022, Ohio lawmakers passed a law making such calls a fourth degree felony, with a sentence of up to 18 months. An FBI spokesperson last fall said new technology enables the agency to trace back such anonymous calls.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.