Emergency personnel swarmed to San Marcos High School near Goleta on Monday after what turned out to be a false report of an active shooter on campus.
The initial report, from a single individual, came in to the county’s dispatch center at 10:26 a.m., according to Raquel Zick, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies were on scene within minutes,” Zick said, “and quickly suspected that this was a ‘swatting’ incident.”
The school was placed on lockdown while the campus was searched, and the lockdown was lifted around 11:20 a.m., Zick said.
“School has been searched and is safe. Lockdown lifted. Parents should check in at the attendance office,” she said at the time.
Swatting calls have plagued schools locally and across the country in recent months, and typically result in a massive mobilization of emergency resources.
“The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public that swatting calls are not only illegal, but they put the lives of innocent people at risk,” Zick said. “Anyone found responsible for making a swatting call will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Investigators are working to identify those responsible for Monday’s call, she added.
During the incident, fire personnel were staged at the Vons shopping Center across Turnpike Road, and along Turnpike north of Hollister.
Turnpike was shut down northbound north of Hollister until the incident was over.