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Swatting Calls Disrupt South Florida Campuses With False 'Active Shooter' Claims

Fort Pierce - Tuesday May 2, 2023: Indian River State College (URSC) and a number of other college and university campuses across South Florida were disrupted by false active shooter reports Tuesday morning.

Both the IRSC Massey and Mueller campuses were briefly placed on locked down after 911 callers claimed there was an active shooter on the grounds. St. Lucie County and Indian River County Sheriff Deputies responded to each campus, searches were conducted, no shooter was found, no one had been harmed and both incidents were confirmed as hoaxes.

Similar fake active shooter calls were made to Cape Coral Technical College, Southern Technical College in Fort Myers, Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida International University in Miami, City College Hollywood, Florida Atlantic University and Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Arizona College of Nursing, and Fort Pierce City College in Hollywood.

Such incidents have come to be known as 'swatting', a word to describe anonymous fake calls to law enforcement claiming a hostage situation or an active shooter, with the intention of triggering a SWAT team response to a specific location, all of which end up being hoaxes.

IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore issued a statement following the incidents on the Massey and Mueller campuses saying "we may never know the motivation of today’s caller, but we will continue to take every threat seriously," adding that "the College will assess and evaluate our response to this incident, as it does for every emergency, to inform and improve our safety and security response protocols."

Dr. Moore also commended the quick response of law enforcement who were "on the scene at Massey Campus within a minute of receiving the call, " He expressed IRSC's gratitude "for the actions of our local first responder partners throughout our service district who ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff today and every day."