Multiple threats at ArkLaTex schools linked back to foreign IP addresses, robocalls; no credible threats
(KSLA) - A bomb threat was reported at Benton High School on the morning of Thursday, April 21, and an anonymous call was placed at Northwood High School about a suspicious package. Threats were also reportedly received at North DeSoto High and at schools in Sabine Parish.
School officials say students were evacuated from Benton High as a precaution after a suspicious package was found. The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office and the fire department swept the school’s campus and later gave the all-clear around 11 a.m. Students were sent back to class.
Benton senior Kate Evans said students weren’t sure what was happening when they had to evacuate.
“We all were like, ‘What’s going on?’ and then we headed out to the baseball field. Everybody’s questioning, no one knows what going on, and when you’re out there and you got a long time to get bored and start making up some stuff. We heard rumors of active shooters, bomb threats,” she said.
Parents lined up down the road that was blocked by the special response teams, frantic until they got the ‘all-clear’ and officials confirmed it was a hoax.
Meanwhile at Northwood, officials determined the call about a suspicious package was a hoax. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, the fire department, and patrol officers searched the campus and found no suspicious package.
Detectives are investigating the origin of the call. CPSO officials say calls about a suspicious package were also placed to Green Oaks Performing Arts Academy.
Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Duane Huddleston said the calls happened at over 19 different schools in Georgia and North Carolina.
“We got the call earlier which is what prompted all this, and told us there was a package containing a bomb in the school,” he said.
After detectives linked dozens of other similar calls from across the country, they traced the same IP address back to Ethiopia. Detectives investigating the call say the same number made a similar threat in North Carolina a week ago.
Federal authorities have been notified.
Threats were also made at North DeSoto High. The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office says they do not believe there is any credibility to the threats at this time.
The threats were reportedly made through some sort of app.
The superintendent in Sabine Parish says the Zwolle Police Department got the call, and that no evacuation took place in the school district since they’d already received word of what was happening at other schools.
The school was checked out, the superintendent says, and no threat was found.
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