ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–According to Governor Kathy Hochul, 36 swatting calls happened on Thursday across the State of New York. These calls reporting fake active shooter claims at schools.
“In some cases it sounds like shootings in the background,” explained Hochul. “Which is horrific. It sounds very legitimate that there is an active shooting unfolding as the calls are going on. And this is why it’s causing so much trauma for teachers, students and families.”
The governor said the calls were all different, and were made to schools in areas of the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Western New York, and the Adirondacks.
“It is beyond the pale to think people are doing this to our kids in light of the real shootings that have occurred in other parts of our nation, just as recently as this week. It is heart breaking to know that people are so depraved of heart they would do this to our children at this time.”
State police went to over 226 schools and local law enforcement agencies responded to these calls as well. On Friday, the governor met with the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Education commissioner.
“I just asked those questions— how are our efforts going in terms of identifying the perpetrators? Very often and probably in this case, they are foreign actors. These are computer generated calls originating in foreign land trying to cause disruption. This is different than a criminal in our communities which is easier to identify, comprehend and prosecute. That is the challenge we face.”
The governor said she wants to ensure parents that the state is taking this very seriously and that the FBI is looking into the origins of these calls as well.