ELYRIA - Elyria Police say that Monday's lockdown at Elyria High School was caused by a swatting incident.
Police responded to the school shortly before noon after it was reported to them that a student with weapons and explosives had locked himself in a restroom and that he intended to cause mass casualties on everyone in the building.
They were also told that the student was on the phone with someone at the Lorain County Emergency Management Office in Elyria, and that the student had given that employee his name. When officers located that student, he was in a classroom at the high school and they learned that he did not make the call.
The student told them, though, that he was being harassed by online hackers because he had refused to help them with a request. They told him that they would share his personal information with other hackers - a practice called "doxing." Police report that doxing is very often followed by "swatting," which is when emergency responders are tricked into going to an address with a false report of an emergency.
This is what happened to at the high school.
Investigators with the Elyria police are now working with the Cleveland Bureau of the FBI to find the people responsible for the incident. In a release, they describe the act of swatting as being "described as a terrorism" due to its potential to waste the time and resources of emergency responders and to divert attention away from what could be a true emergency.