Police investigating false threats at area schools including PHS

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 10:44 AM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Threats of active shootings in multiple West Virginia counties are all being deemed not credible according to the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security. In addition to local law enforcement, the West Virginia Fusion Center and the FBI, Homeland Security is now involved in the investigation into false threats made Wednesday morning.

“Each threat is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeff Sandy. “We are one hundred percent committed to continuing to ensure the health, safety and well-being of students and communities. We diligently work across departments and agencies to respond, monitor, and investigate these alleged threats.” At this time, false threats have been received in Barbour, Cabell, Harrison, Ohio, Kanawha, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Raleigh, Taylor, Wirt, and Wood counties.

The multiple law enforcement agencies involved are continuing to investigate.

Original Story

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Several school districts throughout West Virginia began the day with false threat reports of active shooters. Wood County Sheriff Rick Woodyard said Wood County was among those counties receiving threats this morning.

Specifically, Parkersburg High School was one of the schools according to Michael Erb, the Coordinator of Communication for Wood County schools.

He said that police and administrators responded immediately and determined there was no threat at the school, and at no time was there a threat to the students or staff there. Classes are continuing as normal at PHS.

Sheriff Woodyard said the call came in around 9 a.m. with a male identifying himself with a Middle Eastern accent. Multiple counties received the threat. According to the sheriff, the caller stated there was an active shooter within a school in that county.

The West Virginia Fusion Center is handling the situation and is working with the FBI to identify the calls, according to Sheriff Woodyard.

According to the West Virginia Fusion Center website… they work to collect, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence data regarding criminal and terrorist activity in the State of West Virginia.

Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board said it’s important to take all threats seriously.

“It’s paramount that when a call comes in like that we treat them all like it’s true. And it’s a testament to the plans that we have in place that in less than a minute we had an officer on the scene able to ascertain that everyone was okay and it was a false call which means what we have in plan works”

Chief Board says that in the coming days they will continue to work with the Board of Education, the Fusion Center, and the FBI.

“We always have a strong police presence in the school zones and in the school areas so that will continue, but that’s something we do regardless of whether something like this happens or not. So mechanisms are already in place, will be kept in place and will continue our investigation.”

Chief Board reminds of the saying, ‘if you see something, say something.’