Authorities locked down two Alabama schools Thursday morning after clowns threatened students and posted gun emojis on Facebook. So-called "Flomo Klowns" were spotted on the premises of Escambia County High School and Flomaton High School in southern Alabama, AL.com and News 5 reported, triggering a lockdown.
While there was no confirmation that the Flomo Klowns were carrying weapons, a chief deputy with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Lambert, told News 5 that the situation was being taken “seriously.”
Threats were made to students via Facebook prior to the lockdowns, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said. "Flomo Klown" followers told students an attack would be carried out at local schools. This prompted Flomaton High School to be placed on lockdown and Escambia County High School to be placed on partial lockdown, according to News 5.
Deputies later said no clown sightings were reported near or on the schools' grounds. News 5 reported claims of clown sightings were being posted on its Facebook page.
Not much was immediately known about the "Flomo Klowns." The Facebook page was only recently updated and features a slew of gruesome clown pictures that appeared to be posted over the past 24-hours. The page states the clowns are located in Flomaton County.
Officials requested that anyone with information about the "clowns" call the police.
There is no known link between the Flomo Klowns and recent clown sightings that surfaced in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in recent weeks. The clowns reportedly attempted to lure children into the woods with promises of treats, but police said there was no evidence of the sightings.
It's unclear if the clown threats are a joke or serious, officials have said.