On December 18, 2019, at approximately 5:18 PM, the Fairfield Police Department’s Records Office received a phone call from what appeared to be a young male who stated he knew someone who wanted to “shoot up” a school. He inquired about how to report this information and then hung up the phone. No specific school or town was mentioned.
The Investigation Division of the Fairfield Police Department began an immediate investigation and were able to quickly determine that the phone number was associated with an IP address originating in Texas. It was discovered that in a very narrow period of time, the account was purchased, two calls were made, and the account was immediately deactivated. The phone number and IP address both came back out of to Texas. These are all tell-tale signs of a “spoof” and at that time there was a high level of confidence that this was not a credible threat.
Fairfield Police Detectives continued their investigation and made contact with the Houston County Sheriff Department in Texas who were able to assist in locating and making contact with the male who made the phone call. Sheriff Deputies interviewed the 16 year old caller and his mother. According to the mother, the child is diagnosed with several mental health issues. He admitted to the Deputies that he made the phone call but said he did not actually know of anyone who was going to shoot up a school. He stated that he made the call because he saw someone else make a similar call.
After a thorough investigation and interview, both the Sheriff Department and the Fairfield Police Department were satisfied that this individual does not pose any threat to any individual or school.
In an effort to keep the community informed, the School District, in collaboration with our School Safety Division, sent a number of notifications regarding this incident and threat. Again, the resulting investigation has determined it was not a credible threat, however, we understand there may still be a sense of unease among parents and students alike. The Fairfield Police Department’s top priority is the safety of our community and in order to ensure a continued sense a safety and security, we will have an increased police presence at our schools this morning.
This swift and thorough investigation, involving the collaboration with another jurisdiction, is an example of the dedication and expertise of Fairfield Police personnel. We thank the Houston County Sheriff Department for their assistance along with our Investigation and School Safety Divisions for their time and attention to this incident.