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Parents besiege Texas high school after bogus shooting

Concerned parents began a Texas high school siege on Tuesday after reporting a class shootout that ultimately turned out to be false.

The siege of Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio began around 1pm on Tuesday after police received a call about a possible shooting at the school, according to a police statement. The school closed as police entered and began clearing the campus, but found no evidence of an active threat or shooting.

“Our department and the San Antonio Police Department determined that there were no shootings, but then we had to conduct a methodical room-by-room search of our strike teams,” said Police Chief Johnny Reyes of the San Antonio Independent School District. “We went to the place where they said there was a shooting and we quickly established that the shooting did not take place.”

Instead, it turned out that some students got into an argument but at any point denied having or deploying a gun, Reyes said.

But the frightened students had already made alarming phone calls to their parents as they enrolled en masse at the school, which included 29 school district officers and 58 city police officers.

One of the men thrust his fist through the window, trying to get to the school, injuring his arm. The police put a tourniquet on that arm. Others were handcuffed and detained after physically struggling with officers, but there were no immediate reports of the arrests.

The fear was the latest in such incidents since the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers. A similar panic hit Heights High School in Houston on September 13 after the school received a threat. The threats last week also resulted in school closings in neighborhoods near Austin and Houston, and in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arkansas, Oregon, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma.

San Antonio County Superintendent Jaime Aquino said the district needs to find better ways to communicate with parents in real time. “I assume that if we hadn’t had Uvalde, perhaps we wouldn’t have had the parents’ reaction. So we just have to understand it, ”he said.

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