Active Shooter Hoax at Licking Valley Schools Leads to Lockdowns

Local News Stories

NEWARK, Oh – In what has now been called a ‘Swatting Situation,’ all four Licking Valley schools were put on lockdown Friday morning. 

Superintendent Scott Beery said the lockdown occurred as a slew of law enforcement and emergency personnel responded to reports of an active shooter at Licking Valley High School. The call was received just after 11am Friday morning.

“We had no idea it was a swatting false call. Kids did exactly what they were supposed to do, law enforcement was unbelievable, our staff was unbelievable. Our parents have been patient with us. Everybody’s shook up, scared to death, now we find out this is happening everywhere. Makes me sick.”

It just makes me sick our kids have to experience this, our families have to experience this. And I hope and pray that we can find out who did it. It’s sad,” Beery told us.

Students sheltered in place before being evacuated from their schools as parents arrived to find their kids as on-site reunification began due to off-site reunification centers also being put on lockdown.

Students within the schools, many of whom were headed to class or even getting ready for lunch said it was all so surreal as they were picked up by their worried parents and families.

“I never thought I’d be in one of those situations and then it finally happened and I was like ‘oh my god,’ because they were teaching us about that since kindergarten. I was like ok, this is never gonna happen and now I know,” Kiana Lange, a Licking Valley High School student said.

“It felt like it wasn’t real because we’ve had so much practice with it like it felt like a drill in a way, like stressed out too,” Kailey Musser, another Licking Valley High School student explained.

“Kind of like she said. We all thought it was fake, so we weren’t really running until we noticed everybody was running down the hill. A lot of people were crying, worried and stressed,” Licking Valley Middle School student Wesley Musser said.

“I actually didn’t get a call until I was waiting in line to pick her up. I mean they did, I understand they have protocol to follow. I get it, which is a good thing, but yeah, I wish there was a better way to do it because I feel some of these people are going to be waiting awhile. And kids are terrified. There’s got to be a better way to get parents into their kids to help calm them down,” parent Jody Lange told us.

Beery said they have sent more information and details out to parents and families.

No injuries were reported and they are thankful for all the first responders, staff members, students and families who followed protocols and precautions and did exactly what they were supposed to do in this situation.

Maggie Warren
Maggie was born and raised in Speedway, Indiana where she developed her love and passion for weather, IndyCar and F1, hockey, and baseball, especially the Detroit Red Wings and the Cincinnati Reds. When she's not at work, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite tv shows, writing, hiking, and doing pretty much any outdoor activity! Maggie graduated from Ball State University, where she majored in meteorology/climatology, in Fall 2020. While at Ball State, she was a member of the Storm Chase Team and Cardinal Weather Service. She is also a member of the American Meteorological Society. She loves exploring new places, so if you have any recommendations of places she should visit, let her know! And if you see her around town, don't be shy, say hi!