It was a terrifying afternoon for students, teachers and parents in four Colorado school districts who were the victims of false active shooter reports.
"PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE PRAY FOR MY GRANDSON," wrote Juanita Tacket, of Alamosa, on her Facebook page.
Tacket's fear turned out to be for nothing.
Unfounded reports of an active shooter were phoned in to police departments about Denver's East High School, Alamosa High School, Colorado Springs police and also Montrose Monday afternoon, according to law enforcement in each city. The threats prompted every one of the schools to go on lockdown, compelling parents to keep their kids on live text chains and disrupting classes.
Denver dispatch received its call at 1:51 pm.
Just over an hour later, at 2:45 pm, a male, who identified himself as a teacher called Alamosa dispatch, said, "Room 201. We have ten down," and hung up.
Alamosa Police Chief Ken Anderson said that every law enforcement officer in the San Luis Valley from Conejos County to Parks and Wildlife personnel responded to Alamosa High School and began going door to door, even looking for bodies.
Anderson said response time to the school was "no more than a minute." He told The Denver Gazette that he believes that all of the false threat calls contained the same active shooter message.
By 3:30 pm, Alamosa and East High Schools had been cleared, both districts realizing that they had been "swatted," a prank call made to bring law enforcement running. Students were allowed to go home with anxious parents. The Montrose School District released its students at 4 pm.
"Please be advised that your students will be getting home a little later," Alamosa High School posted on its Facebook page. According to Anderson, false active shooter reports were also sent to some schools in Texas.
East High School students were led to the football field with their hands over their heads. Police told parents waiting in City Park for their children that they were responding to a report of shots fired from inside the school.
The FBI said that it is aware of the swatting incidents.
"FBI Denver is working with local law enforcement on some of these swatting incidents involving schools in our region," Public Affairs Officer Vikki Migoya said.
In what was likely to be a separate situation in Commerce City, where Adams City High School went on lockdown at 12:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon after a student was found to be in possession of a firearm. Commerce City police said that "a handgun was recovered at the scene," and school returned to normal operations for the rest of the day.