Police release timeline of threats that led to lockdown

Series of calls prompted early closing for Fairfield schools

The call that started a series of threats resulting in all 17 schools in Fairfield being locked down Friday, Oct. 23, was a false report, and police are trying to trace the source.

Lt. James Perez said the hours-long incident may have been a case of swatting, or falsely reporting an incident to spur a response by heavily armed police.

At 8:57 Friday morning, Fairfield Police received a call from an unknown man saying he had killed people, taken hostages, had a bomb, and was going to kill more people. Officers responded to the Black Rock Turnpike address and found no activity of any criminal nature.

At 9:26 a.m., an elementary school in Fairfield received a call from an unidentified man who said he was going to the school with a gun. The school immediately went into lockdown.

At 9:27 a.m., one of Fairfield’s two public high schools received a call from an unknown man who indicated he was heading to the school with a gun. That school immediately went into lockdown.

One minute later, Fairfield’s other public high school received a similar call and went into lockdown.

Around 9:30 a.m., the entire Fairfield Public School System — 17 schools with some 10,000 students — was placed in lockdown. Police and firefighters responded to each school. Surrounding communities including Easton, Norwalk, Westport and Seymour sent police and firefighters to assist, given the scope of the response.

Schools dismissed early and all after-school and evening events at Fairfield school facilities were canceled. All sports events, home and away, were postponed. Saturday’s events were to proceed as scheduled, and school is scheduled to open as usual Monday morning.
Fairfield Police are continuing the investigation of the four phone calls.Anyone with information about the phone calls is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 203-254-4840.

Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara fields questions from the media about a lockdown of all 17 of the town's public schools Friday, Oct. 23, flanked by Schools Supt. Dr. David Title, First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Fire Chief Dennis McCarthy. — John Kovach Photo

Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara fields questions from the media about a lockdown of all 17 of the town’s public schools Friday, Oct. 23, flanked by Schools Supt. Dr. David Title, First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Fire Chief Dennis McCarthy. — John Kovach Photo

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