Bishop Diego High School in Santa Barbara was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after authorities received a false report of an active shooter on campus, with multiple victims.
Law enforcement officers swarmed on the campus at about 1 p.m. after a 9-1-1 call was received reporting an active shooter with 18 victims down, said Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale of the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Students and staff were evacuated from the campus at 4000 La Colina Road to the parking lot of the nearby Sansum Clinic on Pesetas Lane, Ragsdale said.
A thorough search of the school turned up no evidence of a gunman or any injuries, Ragsdale said.
“There was no threat to anybody, nobody was injured, and we’re seeing zero signs of an active shooter,” Ragsdale told Noozhawk.
Students and staff were allowed to return to the campus shortly after 1:30 p.m.
The false report was under investigation, Ragsdale said, adding that the Police Department has requested the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Currently, it is believed the caller is not a student or anyone directly associated with the high school,” Ragsdale said.
The Bishop Diego incident appears to have been part of a series of similar fake reports that were made in communities around California and Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In each case, 9-1-1 dispatchers reportedly received a single report of an active shooter, with people injured and killed, leading to large police responses along with lockdowns and evacuations.
“The Santa Barbara Police Department takes any situation involving our students and children in our community very seriously,” Ragsdale said. “Any report of an active shooter in the city will always render a very large and immediate law enforcement response…Any false report of this nature unnecessarily draws first responder resources away from those who genuinely need help.”