“All 17 public schools were placed on lockdown after what we believe is a swatting incident,” Lt. James Perez of Fairfeld Police said in an interview with the Daily Voice.
Police Chief Gary MacNamara assured parents in a press conference at about 11:30 a.m. that everyone in town was safe.
"All of our schools, both private and public, are safe and secure. And all the students, staff and personnel are safe," MacNamara said.
School Superintendent David Title said the decision was made to hold an early dismissal because of the huge disruption in the day and the desire for families to be reunited.
The incident began with the fake 911 calls, called swatting, when someone calls in a false report to police about criminal activity.
Perez said officers were sent to what turned out to be a fictitious address on Black Rock Turnpike where an individual said he had killed a girlfriend and was holding hostages.
Police then received more calls, reporting that there were pipe bombs at a couple of school buildings and a machine gun at another.
"We all convened and immediately took steps to secure our schools until we could determine what we had," MacNamara said.
Title said the school district has been in constant contact with police after the threats were issued. He said the school district immediately went into lockdown to ensure the safety of students.
"Once we realized the day would be serious disrupted -- we decided to dismiss all of our schools," he said.
He said they want parents to follow the regular schedule and stay at home and await their arrival of their children.
"Our children are safe in the town of Fairfield of fairfield but we understand there are hundreds of parents who are very scared and want to be reunited with the children," McNamara said. "We are trying to move as fast as possible to reunite you with your children."
Parents who pick up students at school are asked to wait outside the buildings for pickup and to be patient.
School officials warned the dismissal would have delays.
Here is the schedule:
- Holland Hill: 12:55 p.m.
- All other elementary schools: 1:40 p.m.
- Fairfield Woods: 12:40 p.m.
- Roger Ludlowe: 12:40 p.m.
- Tomlinson: 12:40 p.m.
- Fairfield Ludlowe High: 11:55 a.m.
- Fairfield Warde High: 11:55 a.m.
As of noon, the high school students were beginning to leave the buildings.
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