HOUSTON — Students will return to Heights High School today after a scary situation Tuesday.
Authorities from Harris County Precinct 1 and the Houston Police Department flooded campus with their response to reports of an active shooter, but it was all a hoax.
Now emergency dispatch audio from Precinct 1 gives a new perspective on how the incident went down from the minutes after the shooting hoax was called in, as well as the law enforcement response.
"Last information, second floor, room 213...an English classroom, 10 students were shot," can be heard clearly in the recording. Dispatchers then relayed the details and raced toward Heights High School as officers received detailed descriptions of not one, but two active shooters.
"Our suspects are a Hispanic male wearing a white shirt and a black jacket, black pants," dispatchers said. "I also have a white male wearing a black shirt, green jacket and blue pants. Unknown their exact location at this time. They have rifles."
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As officers arrived, things weren't as they seemed. They went floor to floor in the school clearing rooms but found no shooters and no victims.
Six U.S. Marshals arrived on the north side of the school, according to the dispatchers. Officers in plain clothes also arrived at the same time.
Now Houston Police promise to track down whoever made the fake 911 call. It was one of several calls across the state, including in Waco, that prompted similar responses in Texas on Tuesday.
"Look at the emotional distress that some of these students, teachers, school parents were under yesterday," said FBI Houston Division acting special agent in charge Christopher Raia. Yes, that threat was a hoax but that emotion was real."
The FBI says every law enforcement agency takes these calls seriously and will send all of their resources to determine whether the threat is credible. Since the start of the 2022-23 school year alone, the FBI says its received 17 threats to schools in the Houston area as of September 14.
"Thankfully, we have been able to mitigate those threats. There are a few we are actively working," Raia said.
The FBI continues to ask people to report anything suspicious they see, even if it's a family member.
"The fact that you are contemplating whether or not to report something like that is enough for you to report it," Raia said.
But, Raia warns there are consequences for those who knowingly make false calls like the one that happened at Heights High School.
"This is a very serious topic. If you are going to do it like yesterday, we are going to find out who you are and you are going to deal with the consequences," he said.
The FBI has resources available on how to take to your kids about an active shooter situation on their website.