“Swatting calls” suspected in bogus reports of violence at high schools, including Watertown
Photo: Brent Nathaniel

October 14, 2022
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–So-called “swatting calls” are believed to be responsible for bogus reports of an active shooter in schools across several cities in South Dakota and North Dakota Thursday–including Watertown.

In every case, law enforcement responded to a school, but no threat to students existed.

Watertown and Mitchell High Schools were targeted in South Dakota just after 9 a.m.Thursday.

In North Dakota, schools in Fargo, West Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Williston and Watford City all received hoax calls of a school shooting.

Last month, similar “swatting calls” were made to schools across Minnesota.

Alexandria Police Chief Scott Kent said in late September that he believed the “swatting calls” made to schools in Alexandria, Fergus Falls, and St. Paul came from a phone number in Ethiopia.