HIBBING — Authorities quashed rumors of a shooter at Hibbing High School on Wednesday.
HHS Principal Michael Finco sent an email to parents at 10:28 a.m. stating that “an incident happened in the community in the vicinity of the high school, causing us to lockdown for student and staff safety.”
Finco added: “There was no threat to any of the schools, but to ensure that the police could do their follow up, our buildings and classes were in lockdown for a short time.”
An automated HHS phone call echoing the same message was sent to parents within minutes.
Hibbing Police Chief Steve Estey followed up with a press release, saying officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of Sixth Avenue East for a disturbance call, which led them to respond to the nearby high school and take a juvenile male into custody.
“The incident was not related to the high school and no weapons were recovered from the school,” Estey wrote in the email obtained by the Hibbing Daily Tribune at 10:32 a.m. “This is an active investigation so further details are not available at the time, but the public is not in any danger.”
Rumors of a shooter or multiple shooters near the school spread across social media pages earlier that morning. The hearsay caused enough worry to make area school officials take action.
Matt Grose, superintendent at Nashwauk-Keewatin Public Schools, issued a statement at 10:16 a.m. to staff that he “heard that Hibbing is dealing with a threat, potentially a shooting.” Despite the rumors being “unconfirmed” the school went into a “soft lock down.”
“There is no reason to believe the threat will come our way, but we are going to be cautious,” Grose wrote.
Nearly half hour later, the superintendent released an update: “We have been informed the information we received was inaccurate so will suspend the soft lock down and go back to business as usual.”