Police: Shooter notification at Coventry school was a mistake

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A message indicating that there was an active shooter at Western Coventry Elementary School on Friday has turned out to be a mistake,  Col. John MacDonald of the Coventry Police Department said.

According to police, the department was notified around 11:35 a.m. that the school had received a “recorded ‘robotic’ message stating there was a shooter on campus.”

Police said officers immediately responded to the threat and initiated lockdown procedures at the school. When it was determined there was no active threat to the school, police said officers began to investigate the source of the call.

In a news release Friday, police said the call actually came from another school in New York.

Officers were able to retrieve the number that made the call to Western Coventry Elementary School. Dispatchers then contacted the number and were informed that it was the number for Hamilton College in New York.

Dispatch was able to determine that the college had a report of an armed gunmen on the campus and they had in fact initiated their rapid notify procedures. It is our understanding that there was no active shooter on their campus, but we would direct inquiries to the Hamilton College officials regarding information on their incident.

Police said Western Coventry Elementary was listed as one of the contact numbers for rapid notification at Hamilton College – a private liberal arts school more than 200 miles away.

Officials are investigating the situation, but say it was a “false notification” and there is currently no threat to the campus at Western Coventry Elementary.

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