ITHACA, N.Y.—A threat to “shoot up” Ithaca High School, received via phone call, was deemed non-credible by police, according to a letter sent to parents Tuesday morning by IHS Principal Jason Trumble.
Just two days after Cornell University underwent a harrowing afternoon of a lockdown and evacuation after bomb threats, several Ithaca High School students received threatening phone calls from a blocked number on Monday night.
“Law enforcement has determined that the calls were made using a phone number that has been used hundreds of times to make non-credible direct threats,” stated Trumble’s letter. “We appreciate the students and families that appropriately and immediately alerted law enforcement and school officials. We will continue to partner with law enforcement to ensure that our community, campus and all are safe.”
Requests for more information from Ithaca Police Department and Tompkins County Sheriffs Office had not yet been returned.
IHS Assistant Principal Martha Hardesty said she couldn’t share the specific number of students who received calls, stating that it was part of the investigation, but did say that it was “more than one student but less than 12 students.” She also said she couldn’t disclose whether or not an actual IHS student is believed to have been behind the threats. The school was notified around 10 p.m. last night of the threats, she said.
“We take this very seriously, so to be extra cautious, we have police on campus today,” she said.
The Ithaca Voice was provided a video of someone receiving one of the calls, but is not releasing the video as it appears to include specific student names. The caller threatens to shoot two students, including the call’s recipient, telling them to come to the school’s Welcome Center.
“I’m coming to Ithaca High School, I’m shooting the school up,” the caller said. “I’m coming for [student’s name] and you, you last. I’m gonna shoot both of y’all. […] 10 o’clock, Ithaca High School.”
The apparent reason for the threatened shooting is because the call recipient and another student “were talking smack.” At one point the caller identifies themselves, but the audio doesn’t provide a clear enough name to publish.
Hardesty said police had been provided with those videos and were using them in the investigation. She continued that she isn’t sure how long the police presence on campus will last, but that school officials will reconnoiter with police after school today and plan for the next few days.