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Notes: Alexandria Police Department says Wednesday school threats were another case of ‘swatting’

Good Thursday morning, Alexandria!

🌧️ Today’s weather: Expect rain and fog with a high near 61 and southwest winds of 5 to 8 mph. Precipitation has an 80% chance with amounts ranging between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. For Thursday night, rain is likely, along with possible thunderstorms after 4 am, but primarily cloudy and areas of fog will persist. Temperatures will drop to around 55 with south winds of 5 to 7 mph. A 70% chance of precipitation remains, with similar totals, but potentially higher amounts during thunderstorms.

🚨 You need to know

After multiple cases earlier this month of swatting — a false call about a serious threat that forces police to mobilize a major response — the Alexandria Police Department (APD) was forced to evacuate one school and put another on lockdown after a swatting call yesterday.

Yesterday around noon, a call of a weapons violation came in for Charles Barrett Elementary School (1115 Martha Custis Drive). The call also said a device had been planted in the school. Students had to relocate to a nearby recreation center while police swept through the building searching for any suspicious devices — none were found.

Meanwhile, Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology was also put on lockdown status after a similar threat.

According to APD:

This afternoon (Jan. 24), the City of Alexandria Police Department received multiple calls threatening the safety of two Alexandria City Public Schools. The APD takes every threat to public safety seriously. The investigation today revealed no threat or danger.

At approximately 12:04 p.m., APD responded to Charles Barrett Elementary School (1115 Martha Cutis Drive) after receiving a call of someone going to the school with guns. Multiple officers, K9s, and Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) responded and began searching the school. School administrators made the decision to evacuate and move students to Cora Kelly School (3600 Commonwealth Avenue) to allow APD to conduct an extensive search. APD assisted and remained with students and faculty who were relocated to Cora Kelly School. APD completed the search of Charles Barrett and determined there was no threat.

While police were on scene, additional calls were received claiming more threats, the last calls indicating the threats were directed at Cora Kelly School where police were already positioned and were able to determine there was no threat.

Police remained on the scene for general dismissal. The APD continues to investigate with the support of federal authorities who have offered their assistance.

If you have any information regarding this incident please call 703-746-4444. Tips will remain anonymous.

These threats are believed to have been incidents of “swatting”.

Swatting is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to police suggesting that a threat exists, causing a police or emergency services response.
Swatting is a criminal offense and can be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor up to a Class 6 felony with up to five years imprisonment.

📈 Wednesday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jan 24, 2024.

  1. BREAKING: Charles Barrett Elementary evacuated and Cora Kelly on lockdown due to threats (11592 views)
  2. Cold? Del Ray’s pop-up bar is going to resemble an Aspen ski lodge (1982 views)
  3. Former Francis C. Hammond student nominated at the Oscars (1517 views)

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