Police have responded to Rio Rancho, Cleveland and Bernalillo high schools as a precautionary measure to threats against high schools in several states, including New Mexico.
Rio Rancho Public Schools sent out a notification at 1:30 p.m. Thursday reads: “Police in several states and across our state are investigating reports of school safety threats today. A similar threat is being investigted at Rio Rancho High School. At this point there is nothing to substantiate the threat. Local law enforcement is on site at both high schools as a precautionary measure.”
A message to parents from the Rio Rancho Police Department states that they responded to reports of shootings at RRHS and BHS. “Our dispatch center received a call of a shooting incident at Bernalillo High School. Law enforcement officers immediately responded and have found no evidence to substantiate the caller’s claims of a shooting. Shortly after, another call came from a caller claiming that a shooting occurred at Rio Rancho High School. Our RRPD officers responded to the school and found no evidence of a shooting nor any injured students.”
The message stressed that the reports are both unsubstantiated and said that similar calls were reported in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Lt. Jacquelynn Reedy, spokeswoman for the RRPD, said that the criminal investigations department has been working “with the highest of priority.”
“We’re doing everything we can to trace things,” she said. “It’s my understanding all of them came from one number” to the Rio Rancho dispatch center.
She also said the FBI has taken on the case “because it has such a large-scale impact.”
A June 2022 release from the FBI states that issuing a threat to schools is a federal crime, including those made over social media, text message or email. Even hoax threats are a waste of resources on law enforcement, it said, while also disrupting school.
“The FBI takes every threat seriously and those who post or send these threats can receive up to five years in federal prison, or they can face state or local charges,” Special Agent in Charge Raul Bajanda said.
Thursday’s string of threats comes just two days after the five-year anniversary of the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
RRPD will continue to investigate the incidents.