New Prague Middle School locked down for several hours Wednesday morning on suspicions of a shooting, but the call initating the lockdown turned out to be a hoax.
Police initially responded to a 911 call about an "active shooter" in the area. The call came from a deactivated cell phone. Scott County sheriff Kevin Studnick gave the "all clear" order shortly after 10:00am.
A 12-year-old New Prague student was taken into custody as a result of the prank call.
From the Associated Press:
A 911 call in which a caller claimed several people had been gunned down at a school in southern Minnesota was likely a hoax, a county sheriff said Wednesday.
The call early Wednesday prompted authorities to lock down the middle school, high school and Central Education Campus buildings in New Prague, 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Scott County Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said all students and staff are safe.
Officers have started to clear the schools' buildings, Studnicka said.
The sheriff said dispatchers took a 911 call from a male caller about 8 a.m. who said he was inside one of the school buildings.
"He claimed he needed help because there was a shooter in the building with an AK-47 and that there were a couple of victims," Studnicka said. When dispatchers asked for the caller's cellphone number, he claimed it was a new phone and he didn't know the number, the sheriff said.
Emergency vehicles from several police departments converged on the middle school, a red brick building on the north side of New Prague, about 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Parents were directed to a church. Scott County Sheriff's Sgt. John Kvasnick said students were to be sent home at 10:30 a.m.
Studnicka said there was no evidence of a shooting or of a person with a gun. Kvasnick confirmed that no one was hurt and nothing was found in a search of the middle school.
The middle and high schools have a combined enrollment of 2,067.