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‘Swatting’ calls disrupt across state, Laurens 55

Laurens County School District 55 was part of what is being described by law enforcement officials as a statewide “swatting” incident this past Wednesday (Oct. 5).

The Laurens Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday, saying it had received a report of an active shooter at Laurens District High School. Meanwhile, schools in Beaufort, Myrtle Beach and the Midlands were going on lockdown due to similar calls.

The call saying an active shooter was at LDHS came into the Laurens Police administrative line.

“Officers responded to the high school and quickly determined that there was no active threat. Out of an abundance of caution Laurens Police checked all the schools inside the city limits as well as sent officers to the high school to assist the (Laurens County) Sheriff’s Office in securing that location,” a release from the LPD read.

Two social media posts involving LDHS students two weeks ago falsely claimed a student had brought a gun onto campus.

The “swatting” calls, which are designed to cause the activation of police tactical or “SWAT” teams, are being investigated by the FBI.

The FBI is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. “Similar incidents have occurred recently across the country. 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.”

The incidents were apparently part of a social media challenge on the TikTok platform. Similar calls were also made in Florida and other states this past week.

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