Joint Erie’s Public Schools/City of Erie statement on false school shooting call

This morning, the Erie Police Department and the Erie’s Public Schools Police Department responded to a series of calls about a shooting at Erie High School that turned out to be false. The calls were part of a larger statewide hoax involving similar calls to school districts and businesses across the Commonwealth.

Erie Police Chief Daniel Spizarny said officers were on the scene within two minutes of the first call at approximately 10:45 a.m.

“We understand that these false calls are occurring across the state today,” said Spizarny on Wednesday afternoon. “But we take all calls seriously and respond to them until we know differently.”

Erie’s Public Schools police officers also responded immediately to the scene. Matthew Parker, EPS Supervisor of School and Community Safety, initiated a hard lockdown of the building and EPS police officers began a search. No threat was identified. The lockdown lasted less than one hour, and instruction continued.

Spizarny said there were broader implications across the state.

“As far as we know, today’s false alarm locally affected only Erie High School. But it is our understanding that across the state, both schools and businesses have been targeted by these bogus calls,” he said.

School officials recognized the quick response from law enforcement.

“We are grateful to our school district and city police officers for their quick response, and to the staff of Erie High School for keeping our students safe during the lockdown,” Erie’s Public Schools Superintendent Brian Polito said. “We will continue to work with law enforcement as the investigation continues.”

Combined logos for Erie’s Public Schools and the City of Erie.
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