Worst case scenario avoided at Brainerd High
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – There was a major scare today for families across Tennessee.
This included those in the Brainerd area at Brainerd High School.
A shots fired call was buzzed into Hamilton County 911 this morning, which turned out to be false.
Officials are calling this a swatting incident, designed to draw in a heavy police response to a fake report
The incident at Brainerd was only one of several across the state of Tennessee, and some have even been reported in neighboring states.
This is not the first time a wave of swatting incidents have targeted schools in the past few weeks
In late March, over 200 schools in New York, and last month in Texas, several universities also faced these swatting threats.
This has led to requests for an FBI investigation into these kinds of incidents.
Spencer Daniels with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said, “They’re actively working on it right now, I don’t want to give any specific details of the investigation, as it is rapidly unfolding.”
The Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are co-leading an investigation into the incident.
The school was locked down while first responders assessed the situation.
The Superintendent for Hamilton County Schools, Dr. Justin Robertson, said, “Hallways were cleared and kids and teachers were doing exactly what they should be doing.”
Students were placed at the football stadium while parents congregated at Greater Tucker Baptist Church across the street.
This is where reunification took place.
Parents had to prove their identification and sign a card in order to be reunited with their child.
Dr. Robertson said, “This will give us a chance on the reunification. We’ve trained teams around reunification at every school around reunification, so this will give us a chance to put that into practice and learn some lessons from it.”
Parents were separated by grade level as the process took some time.
One parent told us she had been waiting for at least 45 minutes.
But everyone is just relieved that the worst case scenario did not unfold today.
Daniels said, “We really appreciate the community’s patience and the parent’s patience. This is obviously the worst phone call a parent could ever receive, that their child might be in danger at a school. Again all the parents here are calm and they’re completely cooperative with us.”
The TBI says that eight schools across the state have reported these threats today.
Seven of these were across East Tennessee and one in Middle Tennessee.
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said that he is grateful that the worst case scenario did not come true today.
Authorities have not announced if they have a suspect in this case.