CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee High School was placed on lockdown Monday morning while officers investigated a reported threat.
Chicopee police searched the school and found no credible threat in the building, according to Interim Superintendent Alvin Morton. The lockdown was lifted and classes have resumed for the day, though many students left early. The school is asking parents to refrain from coming to the school unless it is an emergency situation.
Chicopee Police Spokesperson Travis Odiorne told 22News, “Whether its deemed to be a hoax or not, our officers train and treat them as threats until they can deem that they’re not.”
Several police cars could be seen outside the school by our 22News crew. Concerned parents were lining the street around the school looking for answers.
“I was driving by and I see cruisers flying by, I got nervous so I came by the school and they were all coming here,” said Kathy Goyer of Chicopee.
“I have so many emotions right now, my heart is racing my thoughts are going, obviously to places I don’t want them to go,” said Viamaris Mateo, a Chicopee mother.
Naturally along with the parents’ worry came the anxiety felt among the students inside, as they waited to learn more about what was happening.
“I texted my mom, I texted my dad, my godmother and my aunt I just let them know, ‘Hey, this is happening. I don’t know what’s happening but I just love you.’ It’s just the fact that we can’t feel safe at school anymore,” said Gledson, a senior at the high school.
School threats in Massachusetts
Massachusetts State Police reported that they received several hoax school threats across the state Tuesday morning. Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh told 22News a “hoax threat” was made at Springfield High School on Alderman Street.
Greenfield Deputy Police Chief William Gordon told 22News they also received a call around 11:23 a.m. of a possible threat with a firearm at the Greenfield High School. The school was placed in a shelter-in-place and then a lockdown. Officers searched the school and found no threats. The incident is “under investigation for terroristic threats.”
“We are aware of several hoax ‘swatting’ telephone threats that were made today, in addition to those yesterday, reporting threats of violence to be committed at schools in Massachusetts,” stated the Massachusetts State Police Media Relations. “Similar hoax calls have been reported throughout the United States. We are assisting local police departments in investigating the source of threats made yesterday and today.”
Massachusetts State Police responded to the threats listed below however, there may have been other threats cleared by local police.
Between 10 a.m. and noon: shooting/bomb threats were received by the following schools:
- Great Barrington
At around 10:15 a.m.: a shooting/bomb threat was received by the following school:
Between 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.: shooting/bomb threats were received by the following schools:
- Fall River
The FBI is working alongside state and local police in their swatting investigation. In a statement, FBI Spokesperson Kristen Sertera told 22News, law enforcement is going to use all available resources to investigate a school threat until they determine whether it is real or not.
“Investigating hoax threats drains law enforcement resources and diverts us from responding to an actual crisis. Hoax threats can shut down schools, cause undue stress and fear to the public, and cost taxpayers a lot of money,” said Sertera.