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Swatting calls activate police and evacuations at Florida universities

Pixabay/Public Domain

Police in Southwest and South Florida confirmed swatting and false calls of shooters on college and other school campuses — including USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Police in both Southwest and South Florida confirmed so-called "swatting" and false calls of shooters on college and other school campuses on Tuesday.

Swatting is when someone makes a false report of a serious crime to law enforcement — such as a hostage situation or an active shooter — with the intention of triggering a SWAT team response to a specific location.

Cape Coral and Fort Myers police confirmed the agencies received such a swatting call.

WINK news reported that the campus of Southern Technical College in Fort Myers was evacuated Tuesday morning after what police say was a swatting call; another targeted Cape Coral Technical College.

Law enforcement officers swarmed the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus on Tuesday after reports of shots fired. Students and staff were evacuated and classes were canceled, but campus officials gave an all-clear two hours later.

Miami-area media reported a slew of such false shooter calls at several college campuses there.

Miami's NBC6 reported that a false active shooter call led to a massive police response and several buildings on the main campus of Florida International University in Miami-Dade being evacuated Tuesday morning.

Also affected, according to NBC6, was City College Hollywood were police responded to what they called a swatting call. No injuries were found to students or staff, Hollywood Police officials said.

And Fort Lauderdale Police also responded to a "suspicious call" at a building that houses Florida Atlantic University and Broward College.

WPTV, an NBC affiliate in Palm Beach, reported another call was made at Palm Beach Atlantic University, but police quickly found that it was a hoax.

News Channel 8 in Tampa reported a swatting type call was made at the Arizona College of Nursing, but it was determined to be unfounded.

Indian River State College in Fort Pierce also put its Mueller campus on lockdown after reports of an active shooter, which was also a hoax. The campus was given the all-clear afterward.

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