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Portland police say 'situation under control' after 'hoax' shooting threat at King Middle School

Portland PD spokesperson David Singer said officers responded to an active shooter report around 9:40 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police said an "apparent hoax threat" at King Middle School Monday is under control.

In a release, Portland police spokesperson David Singer said officers were called to the school for a report of an active shooter around 9:40 a.m., and the school was put into lockdown.

Singer said officers, later accompanied by school staff, fully searched the school and did not find any indication of an active threat. The lockdown was lifted at 10:45 a.m., according to Singer. 

The situation has been deemed a swatting incident, Singer said, which means police believe someone purposefully reported a false emergency.

Ruweyda Mohamed, an eighth-grade student at the school, told NEWS CENTER Maine she was across the street with some classmates and teachers when police swarmed the area.

"We saw police with guns searching the school. We saw some teachers by the windows over there," Mohamed said. "We saw police searching the cafeteria, upstairs, downstairs, the whole school. I was anxious. I was shaking a little bit -- scared that something was going to happen to my friends or teachers."

“This reckless disregard for the safety and tranquility of our community’s students and staff, not to mention the broad diversion of critical emergency resources, is reprehensible,” Portland Police Chief Frank Clark said in Monday's release. “Our initial investigation has led to the detention of a person of interest, and further supports the belief that an actual plan or threat against students or staff did not exist. My thanks to school staff for their collaboration.”

The Portland school department allowed parents to pick up children at Fitzpatrick Stadium. 

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call them at 207-874-8575.

Credit: NCM