McMaster suggests school shooter hoax calls may have come from “same place”

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - COLUMBIA, Sc. (WIS) - While details remain limited, Governor Henry McMaster gave additional insight on what law enforcement has found on a series of hoax calls which falsely reported school shootings across the state on Wednesday.

McMaster told a group of journalists on Thursday SLED Chief Mark Keel briefed him.

“There is a pattern, it sounds like it’s coming from the same place, maybe even the same individual. It’s not a local, it sounds as though it’s outside of the country. [Law enforcement] are looking to trace everything they can,” he said.

He said SLED and FBI are actively working together on the issue.

Spokespersons for both agencies told WIS there were no additional details to provide outside of the statements supplied yesterday.

The calls targeted school districts in 14 counties in South Carolina, including Richland School District 2 and Newberry County Schools.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster told WIS on Thursday he has listened to the call which targeted Newberry Middle School.

He said the voice appeared to have a foreign accent or be computerized. He said his office handed it over to SLED and FBI to analyze it.

The calls also targeted Blythewood High School in Richland 2.

Sheriff Leon Lott told WIS on Wednesday the calls may have arisen from social media.

“Kind of like a TikTok hoax, a challenge. So we had 21 schools in South Carolina that got the same type of threatening call that someone had been involved in a shooting at a school,” he said.

WIS contacted other agencies across the state, which largely deferred to SLED and the FBI.

WIS also submitted Freedom of Information requests with SLED, the FBI, and local agencies for more information on what transpired Wednesday.

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