Dakota High School student reportedly pays person on 'dark web' to make false shooting threat

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Apr 20, 2021

(WXYZ) — The Macomb County Sheriff's Office says a Dakota High School student used the 'dark web' to pay someone to report a false shooting incident at the school on Monday.

According to a press release from the sheriff's office, deputies were sent to the school on April 19 around 1:30 p.m. for an "active shooter incident" after dispatchers received a call from a man saying he had been shot in his home, but gave Dakota High School's address for the location of where he had been shot. Minutes later, deputies say, another call came in through 911 where a person stated that he was a staff member at Dakota High School and that there was a shooter in the building. The man reportedly told dispatch that a shooter had fired shots outside of his classroom, and then gave his classroom number and personal information, which were later determined to be false.

“This incident was taken as the highest priority and both the first responders and the school took swift actions to ensure the students and staff safety. I am grateful that this incident turned out to be an empty threat however; we take 'swatting' type calls very seriously. I want the community to be assured that we will continue to train and work with our schools to ensure safety for all," said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham in a press release.

The sheriff's office said the false call was treated as an active shooter incident with deputies, EMS and fire responding, but no evidence of any type of shooting was found.

An initial investigation revealed that a student had set up the calls by paying someone on the "dark web" to make the threats. The juvenile student is expected to be arraigned on one count of False Threat of Terrorism at a later date. The investigation is ongoing.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority. We applaud the quick response from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department yesterday and the timely manner in which they are bringing this case to a resolution. This incident is a reminder that no threat, whether in word or deed, will be tolerated at Chippewa Valley Schools and all threats will be thoroughly investigated. We encourage parents to remind their children that threats of any kind can result in serious consequences, including disciplinary action at school as well as criminal penalties," said Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts in a press release.