Swatting incident at Mankato West HS leads to law enforcement response

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Public Safety at 911 or 507-387-8725.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:12 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:25 AM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato Public Safety says an incident of swatting lead to a lockdown and search of Mankato West High School Wednesday morning.

According to a release from the city, around 10:30 a.m., Public Safety responded to the report of an active shooter at West High School, 1351 South Riverfront Drive. Police searched the entire school and found there was no threat.

Police say it’s believed the call was a hoax, also known as ‘swatting,’ which is when someone makes a prank call to law enforcement claiming an emergency and provides a real address for someone to respond.

Several other schools in the region received similar calls providing identical details, including Rochester and Duluth. It’s believed this is part of a nationwide swatting incidence occurring in multiple states, which has been confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Public Safety at 911 or 507-387-8725.

Video from the scene at Mankato West High School of the swatting incident that lead to a large law enforcement response and ended up being a hoax.

In an email to parents, Mankato Area Public Schools says the threat prompted all buildings to go into lockdown. The district says they realize how upsetting and concerning the situation is to students, families and staff and they treat all reported threats seriously.

In a statement the FBI says, “The FBI is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. The FBI takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk. While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”

Wednesday’s incident at Mankato West comes on the heels on an incident Tuesday that led to a soft lockdown of the school following an incident in an overflow parking lot area near the baseball fields.