Fairbanks community falls victim to hoax at Lathrop High School

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:01 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - At 1:58 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Fairbanks Police Department received a 911 call from someone who reported there was an active shooter at Lathrop High School.

As the school went into lockdown, law enforcement from the Fairbanks Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, University Police Department, Airport Police Department, and North Pole Police Department responded to the school. The building was eventually evacuated. No injuries were reported, and the Fairbanks Police Department says the call appears to be a hoax.

Chief of Fairbanks Police Department, Ron Dupee, addressed the situation, “So, officers from every agency within the city and borough responded. We cleared the building systematically room by room along with school district officials and we found no evidence of an active shooter. Nobody in the building, teachers, students, no one heard gun fire, saw gun fire or saw anyone with a weapon.”

The lockdown ended at 2:27 p.m. and students were sent home for the day.

Ryan Middle, Hunter Elementary, and Barnette Magnet School were also placed in lockdown during the event.

The school district will deploy an emotional support team to Lathrop High School tomorrow (Thursday) for students and staff, along with an officer in the morning.

Chief Dupee asks concerned parents to never approach a school under lockdown in an attempt to rescue their own student. Any person attempting to enter a school that is under lockdown and is being investigated by law enforcement could be considered a suspect and they could be putting themselves at risk.

This case is under active investigation with a focus on tracing the origin of the 911 call. Since the shooting is classified as a hoax, the person responsible for making the call could be held criminally responsible.

Meanwhile, at 1:24 p.m., Anchorage Police also received a call about an active shooter at Eagle River High School. That claim has also been determined to be unfounded, with no shots fired or injuries reported.