Police respond to false active shooter alarm at Hampton Cove Middle School

Huntsville Police responded on Tuesday to Hampton Cove Middle School after a false active shooter alarm.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 4:11 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 4:18 PM

UPDATE: No official charges were made, but an incident report was filed to document the false alarm.

According to Huntsville Police, this was a result of poor communication between the parent and child, and there was no intention to cause false alarm.


Message sent to parents regarding rumors of a threat on Monday, October 29, 2018

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According to Keith Ward with Huntsville City Schools, there was a "prank false alarm" after school at Hampton Cove Middle School on Tuesday. The school also had rumors of a threat Monday.

Michael Johnson with Huntsville Police tells WAAY 31 a child's parent called police and said their child had sent them a text message that an active shooter was inside the school. A Huntsville City Schools spokesperson told WAAY 31 the student did not notify school administrators or security before he or she sent the text message, and that decision made it difficult for the school to share information with parents.

Authorities responded to the school and determined there was no shooter and that the text was false. Johnson said police are working with the parent in investigating why the child sent the message.

According to the Huntsville City Schools' behavioral learning guide, the student who sent the text message could be suspended or expelled for filing a false report of a school safety incident. The student could also face criminal charges.

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Below is the message from the principal to Hampton Cove Middle School parents:

"Today, shortly after 3:00pm, a false alarm was called in to 911, about an active shooter at Hampton Cove Middle School. We have identified the individual responsible. The school staff and the Huntsville Police are investigating, and significant disciplinary action will take place.

I want to assure you that we always take any type of threat seriously and want to thank our emergency responders for their quick actions. Students need to be aware that law enforcement agencies are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks. Please make sure your child is aware of these ramifications and that he or she understands hoaxes related to campus safety will not be tolerated.

Working together we can ensure that the educational process is allowed to continue in the safe, uninterrupted environment that our children deserve. Thank you for supporting our students and our school."

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