On September 10, at approximately 10:30 pm, the Hamilton County 911 Center received a call in reference to a school shooting. The caller stated “someone is going to shoot up a school in two days” and immediately disconnected the phone call. The call had been placed on an administrative line, and was answered by a Chattanooga Police Department dispatcher.
Information regarding this incident was quickly reported to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services and Crime Analysis Unit. Personnel immediately began an investigation.
The preliminary investigation revealed the call was placed using voice over IP application where the actual phone number would be concealed when the call was made. Through investigative techniques, it was learned the third party application was associated with a phone or device somewhere in the area of Kirklin, Indiana. Knowing this location allowed the search to be narrowed and it was discovered the phone or device was specifically associated with an address in Clinton, Indiana.
Through collaboration with the Clinton Police Department in Indiana, and the Vermillion County Prosecutors Office, a possible suspect was located at the address. Clinton Police and an investigator from the Vermillion County Prosecutors Office responded to the address where a 13 year old male juvenile admitted to making the phone call. The juvenile’s phone was confiscated by the Clinton Police Department for further investigation into the matter.
“I am proud of the rapid response by our personnel and the diligent efforts they made to not only investigate this threat, but to track down the suspect in another state involved in this incident. As I have said before, the safety and security of our community’s children and our schools is paramount to this agency. We will continue to use every tool, resource, partnership, and technological means necessary to hold those accountable who threaten the safety and well-being of our children,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.
Charges may be pending after the outcome of an investigation into the incident by the Clinton Police Department.
It was determined the call didn’t prove to be a viable threat to our area or our community’s schools.