Breaking News: Bay Area schools go into lockdown due to shooter threats


Woodside High School billboard / Bahn Mi / Wikimedia commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Six Bay Area schools receive shooter threats, including Woodside High School.

Six Bay Area schools went into lockdown today after police were called with threats of an active shooter.

Police say this was a swatting incident and that the phone calls turned out to be hoaxes. Nevertheless, schools took precautionary measures and went into lockdown. 

Police, including the Belmont Police Department, Fremont Police Department, and South San Francisco Police Department, also made a presence at schools to ensure the safety of all students. 

Among the schools were McClymonds, George Washington, South San Francisco, Irvington, Woodside, and Abraham Lincoln High Schools.

“Probably around 9:45 a.m., my teacher closed the door and locked it and pulled all the windows and blinds closed,” said Woodside sophomore Dana Reed. “Then, about 10 minutes later, he told us he was getting news of a threat on campus.”

Reed also mentioned that armed police officers came around to the classrooms shortly after an announcement over the loudspeakers.

“They came around and knocked on our door. There were some policemen with really big guns,” Reed said.

Joseph Hefferman, Abraham Lincoln High School’s principal, explained what happened at their school as well. Police first made contact with Heffernan at 10:55 a.m., at which point they had the school initiate a lockdown protocol. 

“I was contacted by the San Jose police department in response to a report of an active shooter on campus with injured students,” Heffernan said.

San Jose PD then did a room-to-room search of the school until they felt confident there was no threat. At 11:50 a.m., the lockdown was released, and class continued as normal.

In addition to stopping normal class time, these lockdowns stopped the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Tests (PSAT) that were taking place. The exams that were in process were invalidated by College Board, and for Abraham Lincoln High School, the PSAT has been rescheduled for Oct. 25. 

In an ABC broadcast, Alameda County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ray Kelly explained that swatting is a prank call done to get a large law enforcement presence and is usually done anonymously and through a digital platform.

“It’s done to create chaos and havoc and anarchy,” Kelly said.

Police believe these calls are linked to a series of calls from last month and that one person is likely behind this. Several law enforcement agencies will continue investigating.

This is a breaking news story. The article will be updated with more information.

*Updated Oct. 20, 2022