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3:49 AM Fri, Oct. 19th

Police search for armed person at Prescott High School, turn up nothing

Social media runs rampant

Prescott Police have Prescott High School surrounded, and appear to be working to clear the building Friday evening at about 7:30. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Prescott Police have Prescott High School surrounded, and appear to be working to clear the building Friday evening at about 7:30. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Prescott Police investigated a report Friday evening, Sept. 14, of an armed person at Prescott High School, 1050 Ruth St., dressed in camouflage clothing, according to a news release.

After more than three hours searching the campus, authorities left the scene — having determined no threat ever existed.

At approximately 5:06 p.m., the Prescott Police Department received a third-party report that included a photo of an individual.

Members of the Prescott Police Department — along with the support of additional agencies, including the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office — responded to the school and began to assess the validity of the report and any possible threats.

Officers searched the school and surrounding areas, but did not locate any threat, Prescott Police Lead Officer David Fuller stated in the news release. Simultaneously, officers were able to speak with the reporting party and many others in the area and learned that no threat ever existed.

The Courier received reports from the public through phone calls and social media that there was a large police presence at the high school.

Brian Moore, the chief financial officer for Prescott Unified School District, said when he arrived at the school at about 5:45 p.m., officers were already there. The Courier was told law enforcement personnel were clearing all of the buildings; no students were on campus, only custodial staff. The campus appeared to be surrounded, with more than one dozen law enforcement vehicles at the campus.

At about 8:15 p.m. it appeared police were wrapping up their efforts. The Courier witnessed officers with rifles leaving the scene.

“We are aware of the significant social media reaction that this situation has cultivated; this includes a great number of blatantly false reports of criminal and violent activity, which created unnecessary concern throughout the community,” Fuller said.

If members of the public need to report activity, always use 911, which will result in the quickest possible response by law enforcement.

It was unknown at press time if anyone would be facing charges, such as false reporting.

Courier reporter Max Efrein contributed to this article.