UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – At least two local high schools were among schools across New York State that were targets of what appears to have been a SWATTING effort. Swatting is a form of harassment where a false claim of a violent incident is made prompting a large police response.
Today’s incidents appear to have been statewide and may be part of a recent national trend. Associated Press reports that there were similar swatting calls across the state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
The call about shots fired at Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica came in shortly after 10:00AM Thursday. Not long after that, there was a similar report of a similar incident at Rome Free Academy. That too was unfounded. The Herkimer Central School District also received a similar phone call.
Eyewitness News has received reports of at least five false reports in the Albany area, six in the New York City area, one in Plattsburgh, one in Potsdam and one in the Syracuse area.
Utica Police report that they have been conducting a sweep through the Proctor High School campus and have found nothing. They report that there are no immediate threats to the building and no injuries. A social media piece posted on the Utica Police Facebook page stated that nothing was found in their sweep of the Proctor campus and activities at the school had returned to normal. That statement is posted below.
We will update the incident as more information becomes available.