FBI to assist investigation into false active shooter report at Bishop Diego High School
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Police said they cleared the scene after Bishop Garcia Diego High School was evacuated following a 911 report of an active shooter on campus around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department, said that there was absolutely zero sign of a shooter or any kind of active scene as of 1:35 p.m.
"The reporting party told our police dispatchers that there was an active shooting occurring at the high school and that there were multiple people that were shot and injured," said Ragsdale.
Ragsdale said police evacuated all students and staff to the Sansum Clinic parking lot at 215 Pesetas Ln, and said that all students and staff were safe and accounted for.
FALSE REPORT of an active shooter at Bishop Diego High School. ALL STUDENTS AND STAFF ACCOUNTED FOR and SAFE. Officers, Deputies and CHP searched the campus. ZERO EVIDENCE of an incident. False report is under investigation.— Santa Barbara Police (@SB_Police) September 14, 2022
SBPD said that dozens of police, California Highway Patrol officers and Sheriff's deputies searched the scene, and Santa Barbara City Fire cancelled resources as of 1:30 p.m.
Students and staff were able to return to campus and parents are able to pick up and take their students home from school.
"Right now, that false report is actually actively under investigation," said Ragsdale. "We're going to be investigating who it is who made that false 911 call and we'll be able to locate the phone number and the caller who called us."
Ragsdale said the person responsible will likely face criminal charges once tracked down.
SBPD said that "currently, it is believed the caller is not a student or anyone directly associated with the high school. Detectives are contacting the FBI to assist in the investigation."
The Santa Barbara Police Department said it "takes any situation involving our students and children in our community very seriously. Any report of an active shooter in the city will always render a very large and immediate law enforcement response."
"In this situation, thankfully, it was a false report. Regardless, any false report of this nature unnecessarily draws first responder resources away from those that genuinely need help. This false report will not be taken lightly and will be thoroughly investigated," said SBPD.