High schools across Florida receive false active shooter phone calls, following disturbing nationwide pattern

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – At least two Alachua County high schools were at the center of a school shooting hoax Tuesday. 

Law enforcement received phone calls that active shooters were present at Eastside High School in Gainesville and Santa Fe High School in Alachua. Law enforcement responded to both schools and found that there was no actual threat. 

Capt. Kaley Behl of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said the call about Eastside High School was received at about 1:15 p.m. Around 20 deputies responded to the scene, according to Behl.

Behl said the situation definitely scared the sheriff’s office.

Behl said similar scenarios played out at about 50 high schools across the nation, and the sheriff’s office has already begun sharing information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is taking the lead in the national investigation.

Similar hoax calls were made across Florida Tuesday, including in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area, among other communities. 

This is reflective of a disturbing national trend in hoax school shooting calls. Ohio, Minnesota and South Carolina have reported receiving similar calls at dozens of high schools over the past month, according to their local news outlets. Each incident occurred on the same day for each state, just like Tuesday’s situation in Florida.

The situation strikes a raw nerve in Florida, which is still reeling from the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland.

The Parkland gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday.

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This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org

About Silas Morgan

Silas is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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