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Police call reports of shooter at Germantown High school "false", no violence on campus

Everyone from parents to students to the school district itself said they were frustrated with how things played out.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A verbal threat to Germantown High School Tuesday morning ended up being nothing. 

But while school officials were checking into the verbal threat, someone also posted completely false information there was an active shooter inside Germantown High School.

School officials said that within 45 minutes, a false claim was shared on Facebook more than 2,000 times.

While the high school immediately alerted parents of the post was false, many had already rushed to the school and saw the building surrounded by multiple law enforcement agencies

This is how the district and students recalled their day:

At around 10 a.m. Tuesday, students had a routine fire drill, but when they came back into the building, students were told they were going on lockdown. One student said he initially believed the lockdown was just a drill. 

"We thought it was just a drill, but as the day went on, we got photos and videos of people with guns and stuff, so we stayed in the classroom," the student said.

That's when many students feared for their lives. 

“There were some kids saying that they were getting updates that there was a kid with a gun. There were other kids saying that it was just a threat to the school and that it would get shot up," another student said.

Officials said parents were notified of a lockdown at 10:45 a.m. Then, someone posted on social media that there was an active shooter and parents got scared.

"I got a call saying there was an active shooter on the premises, but when I got to the school I realized that was false," the parent said.

The school said after they saw the social media posts, they then sent another alert to parents at 11:30 a.m. debunking the shooting threat. It was too late because parents were already at the school.

"The rumors definitely escalated because we weren’t being told anything," a student explained. "We were left out and shut out. they just had us sitting in there and it causes more of panic when no one knows anything instead of when people do know something.”

Some wonder if the huge police response contributed to the tension. 

Germantown police, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security were all on the scene.

Germantown has not responded to our question as to why so many agencies were brought in and as of Tuesday night, no arrests had been made. 

According to the FBI, it is a federal crime to make false threats against a school.

Sources tell ABC24 police know who phoned in the verbal threat, but no word if there’s been an arrest. 

We are currently on the scene at Germantown High School investigating a threat made against the school. At this time...

Posted by Germantown Police Department on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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