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State Police say reports of active shooters in Maine schools were hoaxes

Maine State Police

Maine State Police say that 10 schools were targeted this morning in a series of reports of active shooters that have been deemed a hoax.

They say the first 911 call reported an active shooter at Sanford High School at around 8:20 am.

Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told WMTW-TV at a press conference today that authorities determined the reports were false as they saw patterns in the calls that were made to dispatchers.

"So as we have troopers and troop commanders arrive at those various locations, at the same time, our dispatchers are connecting the dots. Is this the same phone number, is this the same information? Exactly the same details. It's the same accent. That kind of information is very helpful for us," Sauschuck said.

Sauschuck says federal charges are being considered in connection with the reports, and police will continue to investigate the source over the coming days.

Police departments received the reports of active shooters in schools across several towns, from Sanford and Portland to Gardiner, leading to emergency lockdowns.

But Maine State Police Spokesperson Shannon Moss said this morning that when authorities responded, they found no shooter at any of the schools.

"Clearly, once they arrived on scene, their initial investigation was showing that this is not an active shooter threat. And looks like it is a hoax," Moss said.

The Portland Police department posted on Twitter just before 9 am that officers were on scene at Portland High School after a 911 call reporting an active shooter. But police say school staff reported there was no shooting. The high school was on lockdown.

The Sanford School Department says a call was made to 911 at around 8:30 am about an active shooter at its high school and Regional Technical Center. The department says it doesn't believe the information is credible, but students were evacuated to buses as a precaution, and emergency personnel were on site.

And a lockdown at Gardiner Area High School was lifted after a thorough search by law enforcement, according to a post from the MSAD 11 superintendent on Facebook.

Updated: November 15, 2022 at 2:24 PM EST
This post was updated with information about the investigation into the active shooter threats.