Hoax closes Knox County schools
KNOX COUNTY, Ky. - A call that came into Knox County 911 Dispatch on Monday threatening a possible shooting at a Knox County School ended up being a hoax.
According to the Knox County Sheriff's Department, the person who called 911 identified himself as being with the Los Angeles Police Department. The caller said that LAPD took a call about a school threat in Knox County, Kentucky. The caller also identified a home in Flat Lick that deputies went to check; however, they could not find the exact address.
At that time, deputies perceived the threat as real and contacted school officials. As a precaution, school leaders for both Knox County and Barbourville Schools decided to close on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Knox County Sheriff's Department says they were able to determine that the call that came into Knox County 911 Dispatch did generate in the Los Angeles area, but it did not appear to be connected to the LAPD. The sheriff's department says the number provided by the caller connected to the residence in Flat Lick was also a fake number.
Investigators think someone used a computer/iPhone generated app to conceal the identity and location of the call.
This isn't the first time a Kentucky school system has had to react because of a threat that came in from authorities in another state. In February 2015, Boyle County Schools went on lockdown after someone called in a threat to Enterprise Rent-a-Car in St. Louis. Police ended up charging a Boyle County High School student in that case.
Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith said he considers any threats against a school or students to be a serious matter and that he will commit 'whatever resources needed to successfully investigate and prosecute the perpetrator if possible."