Tennessee voluntary high school evacuated after ‘hoax’ shooting call, authorities say

A Tennessee high school was evacuated Tuesday morning after authorities received a “hoax” call that was about to fire at the school. No shots were fired at Volunteer High School in Hawkins County, Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said during an afternoon news conference.

A student had a seizure around the time of the call, but the two incidents were unrelated, Lawson told reporters.
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Just before 8 a.m., a person called 911 claiming to be a student armed with a gun and in one of the school’s bathrooms, Lawson said. The caller said he was about to go to the school gymnasium and open fire.

“At this point, everything seems like this call was a hoax,” Lawson said.

The call is under investigation, the sheriff said. “Local, state and federal agencies will do their best to find out who made that appeal and do everything they can to bring them to justice,” Lawson said.

Church Hill Police Chief Chad Mosley said investigators have not determined where the call was made.

Asked at the press conference what he would say to the caller, Lawson said, “Hopefully we can say it in person.” Mosley said the call was resource-intensive and “caused a lot of anxiety to parents and children throughout our community.”

In response to the call, several schools were closed, the Hawkins County School District said. The high school was evacuated and the school district said on Facebook Tuesday afternoon the students were reunited with their parents.

Authorities in Hawkins County, Tennessee, responded to an “emergency situation” at Volunteer High School on August 10, 2021.


Earlier Tuesday, Matt Hixson, the county school principal, said he expected classes to resume Wednesday if police were not required to keep the school closed.

“We’ve been through COVID and a lot of closures, and our intention is to keep students in school and help them learn,” Hixson said.

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