Police Unable to Confirm Reported Gunshots Near Seneca Valley Yesterday
Seneca Valley High School went into Shelter-In-Place mode Monday morning after a someone called the school reporting they had just witnessed someone shoot at another person.
Police responded but found no evidence that a gun had been fired, according to MCPD spokeswoman Rebecca Innocenti. “Officers found no victim, no shell casings, no evidence that a weapon was fired,” said Innocenti.
MCPD received a call to 9-1-1 reporting that had the caller had seen someone shoot a gun at somebody on the 19600 block of Crystal Rock Drive in Germanton on Monday, March 9 at shortly after 11:00 am. The location of the alleged shooting is the block directly across Middlebrook Road from Seneca Valley High School.
The timing of the alleged shooting also coincided with Seneca Valley’s open lunch time for students.
According to a letter sent home with students from Seneca Valley, the school went into shelter-in-place mode at approximately 11:15 am. “We implemented the prescribed Shelter procedure for public safety. The MCPD conducted an investigation of this threat and was able to quickly resolve the incident. The Shelter procedure was lifted at approximately 12:10 p.m. and the normal instructional day continued.”
Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen said, “We received word of a possible shooting in the community, not very far from the school. As the investigation was conducted, we went into shelter to increase the level of safety and security in the building.”
Lieutenant Robert Ravida from District Five in Germantown said that the original call was placed to Seneca Valley High School and then to 911. “The caller said that they witnessed someone shooting some sort of gun at someone. We have found no evidence of a shooting.” Police believe that perhaps it was a BB gun or maybe an airsoft gun, but cannot be certain. “The caller could not be sure as to the type of gun,” said Ravida.
MCPD had three detectives from District Five on the scene of the alleged shooting within five minutes, said Ravida, but they were unable to locate any evidence of a shooting. “We had no victim and no other corroborating witnesses.”
Ravida said two individuals that were in the area and matched the description of the alleged shooter were voluntarily brought into District Five headquarters for questioning and later released without charges. “They were very cooperative and we ultimately determined that they were not involved.”
When asked if this was a case of students pulling a hoax in an effort to disrupt the PARCC testing going on at the high school, Ravida said, “We have no reason not to believe the caller.” Ravida said investigators will continue to track down leads related to this incident but haven’t not come up with anything.
Officer Innocenti from the MCP Public Information Office said, “A report was written up just to document that the call came and was investigated on the chance that someone might come forward with more information.”