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Watauga High School Briefly Locked Down Following 911 Call Claiming Student was Going to Harm Others

On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at approximately 3:20 PM, The Town of Boone E911 Communications center received a telephone call from a purported distraught child/adolescent who stated they were at the high school and going to harm others.  Officers with the Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol immediately responded to the incident.  The school was placed on lockdown and teams of officers searched the building and surrounding property.  After the scene was secured and no threats or suspect(s) were located; the lockdown was lifted around 4 p.m. and the students were released.  

Prior to yesterday’s incident, information was received by the Boone Police Department and our law enforcement partners indicating there was the possibility of a hoax or “swatting” call happening in Boone.  Included within this information was nearly identical language as was used during today’s call. 

“Law enforcement officers responded without delay to ensure there was not a threat to our school. I am very thankful for the outstanding job by not only the law enforcement officers but the students, faculty and staff of Watauga High School and the Watauga County School system,”  – Shane Robbins, Major.    

This incident is very similar to an incident that happened in Hawkins County Tennessee on August 10, 2021.  Local investigators will be working with State and Federal partners to attempt to identify and prosecute the person responsible for this crime.