The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office responded to fake bomb and robbery threats in the Canal Winchester and Violet Township school districts. This occurred on Monday, September 13th and the police now believe the suspect could have been a resident of the area at some point. On Sunday, September 12th, an unknown male called the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and made several bomb threats toward the area of Canal Winchester and around it.
The sheriff’s office investigated along with the Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force and determined the threats to be non-credible. The school buildings involved were swept by The Ohio State Highway Patrol and Fairfield County Authorities with their canine units. No bombs or other threats were found. Other threats were made to the Violet Township School Districts and to Canal Winchester City. Shooting threats were made to the high school as well.
There were also threats made to Pickerington North High School and a local Walmart. The Assistant Superintendent of Canal Winchester schools, Kiya Hunt, told ABC6 that the district would be closed on Monday, September 13th because of the previous bomb threats. The district informed the news channel that Canal Winchester High School got the bomb threat at seven in the morning and Canal Winchester middle school received a threat ten minutes later.
The choice to close the school was in the interest and safety of staff and students. Both of the school buildings have been cleared by the Columbus Bomb Squad and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department. The buildings were closed on the 13th and no remote learning took place. The district reopened on September 14th for class and after school activities. The Fairfield police have concluded that the caller is near the west coast and this man is behind all of the threats. The Fairfield sheriff also reported that around a dozen businesses near Gender Road called in threats.
Cory Hinton, an employee at the Woods Convenience Store said even they received a call threatening to rob it. At first, Hinton thought it was just the store that received threatening calls, but it was many different establishments. He believes the person behind it wanted to cause panic. Sheriff Lape said that the unknown man seemed to remember which establishments he wanted to scare, looked them up to confirm their phone number, and called them since he is likely to have lived in the area. The Sheriff’s Office recommends a course of action when a bomb threat or any threat is received.
The first step is to write down the information the caller gives you about the bomb, any instructions, or any demands or threats they make. The second step is to try to keep the caller on the line while getting this information. Thirdly, be alert for additional information that could help identify the person calling. Write down their gender, age, any language accents, dialects, speech difficulties, and background noises. Lastly, call 911. The authorities were considered low-risk from the beginning because all of the calls were made by the same person. It is less likely for one person to bomb that many locations so close together and back to back.
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