A 12-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly falsely reported a shooting at New Prague Middle School in Minnesota, which caused the school to be under lockdown for two hours.
The suspect, who was not named, allegedly called police twice to report shootings at the Minnesota middle school, the Mankato Free Press reported. He was taken into custody shortly after police responded to New Prague Middle School Wednesday morning.
"In this day and age you have to take these things very seriously," said New Prague Police Chief Mark Vosejpka, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Vosejpka said the cell phone used in the hoax was only capable of dialing 911, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Police responded to New Prague Middle School around 8 a.m. to clear classrooms as they searched for an “active shooter.”
But authorities shortly determined that nobody at the school was in danger.
"There was never a time kids were ever in danger," New Prague Superintendent Larry Kauzlarich told the Pioneer Press.
While the school was under lockdown, a New Prague Middle School official speaking to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune echoed that sentiment.
“All students are safe,” Laura Knoke told the paper. “Officers are checking every room. Nothing else is going on. We are just in a lockdown, and the officers are checking the building.”
Even though police determined the children were safe, they let them take the day off school to “relieve anxiety,” Kauzlarich said, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
The news outlet noted that the hoax was the second such false alarm for the school district.
A 15-year-old at New Prague High School was charged last month with disorderly conduct and making terroristic threats after the high school found a note claiming there was a bomb in a bathroom, according to the Star-Tribune.
"It is very frustrating," Kauzlarich said of the hoaxes. "We have to take them seriously. Every one of them."