Police continue false active shooter report investigation
Police say there is a person of interest in the investigation and that they're working on identifying the original source of the text that said an active shooter was at Douglas High School Monday night.
BOX ELDER, S.D. — A text reporting an active shooter at Douglas High School came over the wires to the Meade County Dispatch around 5:32 Monday night.
Law enforcement agencies immediately responded to the scene but found no evidence of an active shooter or event at any schools in the Douglas School District.
Authorities say that through information that was already obtained, they determined there was no threat to any of the Douglas Schools, thus opening the investigation up to false reporting.
According to South Dakota codified laws, false reporting is a Class 1 Misdemeanor where guilty parties could face up a year in prison and/or a $2,000 fine. In this instance, disturbance of a school as a Class 2 Misdemeanor could also be issued where guilty parties could face up to 30 days in jail or a $500 fine.
As the investigation continues, police say that carefully observing a situation and looking for different behaviors among individuals is something that should be reported.
“What we’re looking for are behaviors…does what we’re seeing match with what is going on? It is 2:00 in the morning and I see somebody in dark clothing walking around the school,” said Scott Sitzes, a Supervisor for School Resources Officers. “Does that fit with what we know about the school?”
Police say that there’s nothing wrong with calling to report a concern or something you’ve seen that may look suspicious. In other words, if you see something, say something.
“Anything you see that may be a little bit out of the ordinary, there’s no problem and there’s no harm in calling and saying, ‘hey, this is what I’m seeing that doesn’t seem right with the situation. Could you send somebody to come check it out?’,” Sitzes said.
Police also say there is a person of interest in the investigation and that they’re working on identifying the original source of the text.