State and local police across Massachusetts responded to numerous bomb and gun threats against schools Tuesday for the second straight day, with officers again finding the threats called in were unfounded.
“For the second straight day, Massachusetts State Police units are responding to support local police in multiple communities after schools were threatened with bombs and shooting,” said Dave Procopio, MSP Media Communications Director, in a statement. “So far, every call has been classified as a joke.”
Reports ranged from Berkshire County to Martha’s Vineyard, Procopio said, with many of the threats first reported around 10 a.m
Schools in Springfield, Great Barrington, Edgartown and Fall River were some of the scenes that state troopers and local police responded to. After K9 and Bomb Squad units were called in, each school was evacuated individually by authorities as calls continued to pour in throughout the morning.
According to Procopio, the threats were “aligned in content” as well as punch threats aimed at schools on Monday.
“It was a malicious hoax, there was no active shooter” Duxbury Police tweeted, which required local high school officials to respond over a report of an active shooter. “The procedural response from the police was impressive and necessary. DPD will remain vigilant.”
Other affected communities included Cohasset, Hingham, Dedham and Concord, Mass., with some schools closing due to the threats.
In Clinton, middle and high schools went into lockdown for nearly two hours as officials cleared the facilities.
“We knew exactly what it meant, we did everything and everything protocols — lights out, standing by the door,” said Nick Ceffalo, a special education teacher at Clinton Public Schools. “I stood by the door just in case – children came under the desk.”
“My friend almost had a panic attack,” said Juan Rivera, a freshman at Clinton High School. “I was scared, but I also tried to calm everyone else down.”
Officials including Amesbury Police Chief Craig Bailey said calls like the one his department responded to Monday were a “tremendous amount of police and emergency resources,” diverting those resources from other potential emergencies.
That assessment was shared by law enforcement and security expert Todd McGhee, who spoke to 7NEWS about the threats made.
“Obviously that’s a drain on the actual communities because other crimes and other things are happening,” McGhee said. “Accidents, domestic workers, all kinds of different service calls are happening (in) real time as law enforcement prioritizes the threat level to the community.”
In statements from both state police and numerous local police departments, officials reiterated that calls made both Monday and Tuesday remain under investigation.
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