Threat at high school deemed a rumor

A report that there would be a shooting at the high school Friday afternoon was a rumor, police say.

Carson City Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Marshall said dispatchers received at least two anonymous reports on Thursday. It's not known if the callers were different people, because they refused to leave their names.

After conducting several interviews Thursday night and continuing the investigation at the school Friday morning, it was determined that the threat stemmed from an incident on Thursday near the Rock House at Mills Park between two male adults not connected to the school, said Marshall.

Sgt. Marshall said the argument was witnessed by students who use that area during breaks. Police were called out, he said.

Marshall said some of those students reported seeing one of the two men with a gun, and he believes the retelling of that story became the basis for the shooting rumor at the high school.

Several uniformed officers were at the school throughout the day interviewing students to determine the validity of the threat. Their presence, coupled with the rapidly moving rumor, prompted several students to tell their parents through text messages or phone calls.

At least half a dozen parents went to the school and removed their children from classes.

As the morning progressed, the Nevada Appeal also received phone calls from people who had heard that guns had been found at the school shortly before noon.

Sheriff Kenny Furlong vehemently denied the recovery of any weapons.

He said the rumors were so prevalent that the emergency dispatch center and the high school were also bogged down in calls.

"Anytime that there is a threat to the school, we take an immediate action. We do it right on the spot. If it comes in after school hours, we are going to work that thing to death before school opens," said Furlong. "When we get information, we have to get on it immediately to prevent the activity."

He said that if the threat had been valid, that assessment would have been reached quickly and the school would have been immediately locked down.

"No one would have been able to get in and out of the school until the problem had been isolated and removed," he said.

The community would have also received a "reverse 911" call with information on the situation.

"We practice this frequently on that campus," he said.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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