SAN ANTONIO – A hoax report of a shooting at a multi-story building in the Medical Center is one of several that happened at colleges across Texas on Thursday, according to the San Antonio Police Department.
The incident garnered a large response after 10 a.m. Thursday in the 7400 block of John Smith Drive, near Wurzbach and Babcock Roads.
Sgt. Washington Moscoso said officers with San Antonio police and the University of Texas police responded within four minutes of the call before they realized it was a “hoax call.”
“There was not a real active shooter involved in this call but we still sent all the resources that we had available to clear the building,” he said.
WATCH: SAPD gives update on hoax call.
The building, which holds the Galen College of Nursing and UT School of Public Health, was evacuated as a precaution but there was no evidence of a shooting, according to Moscoso. No one was injured.
The building can hold up to 1,200 people but it’s unclear how many people were evacuated.
Police were able to clear the building floor by floor and classroom by classroom. Moscoso said it was evident the school has received proper active shooter training by their response to the situation.
“It was orderly, you can tell that those businesses and institutions are implementing active shooter drills. You can tell that just by the response we got when we came on scene,” he said.
Moscoso said at least six other similar incidents were reported in other Texas cities.
KSAT does not typically report on a threat until it is substantiated or an arrest has been made, but because investigators believe this to be related to other similar threats across Texas, police want the public to know that all threats are taken very seriously.
“This seems to be a growing trend. Some people get a kick out of it, some people think it’s funny,” he said. “We take these very seriously.”
They are investigating where the calls originated from. So far, no one has been arrested in relation to the incident.
San Antonio police said there has been at least six false reports to induce response since July of last year.
If someone is caught it’s a class A misdemeanor, and that charge is upgraded to a felony is caught making false calls more than two times.
Swatting became a criminal offense two years ago, but despite the consequences, at least four other university campuses were disrupted by false reports of an active shooter, including:
Texas Wesleyan University Official Statement | 04.13.23 | 10:00 a.m.
Earlier this morning, an Emergency Alert was sent out to the Texas Wesleyan University community to shelter-in-place after our dispatch learned that the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) received a report of an active shooter with multiple injuries in a specific lab on campus. FWPD quickly responded to campus and started clearing buildings and found no evidence of an active shooter. Further investigation led to the call being placed by a scam number and there was never an actual threat to campus. At that time, the shelter-in-place was lifted after the all-clear was given by FWPD.
We want to commend our safety and security team for taking swift action in notifying the TXWES community and responding in a timely manner in this emergency, as well as students, faculty and staff for their quick response after receiving the emergency alert.
Please direct any questions about the incident to the Fort Worth Police Department.
- Tyler Junior College in Tyler
Earlier today, TJC officials were made aware of a possible active shooter at certain facilities at TJC. The safety of our students, employees and visitors is always our priority and the TJC Police, along with Tyler PD and additional law enforcement agencies went into immediate action to evacuate and lockdown impacted facilities. Upon investigation it was discovered to be a false report. There are reports of similar false incidents at other Texas higher education institutions today. At this time, normal operations have resumed at all TJC sites. We thank everyone for their cooperation.
KSAT reached out to the FBI to see if the false reports were connected and if it is investigating. FBI San Antonio said in a statement:
“The FBI is aware of the numerous swatting incidents wherein a report of an active shooter at a school is made. 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.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.