Duval County

911 call from person saying they were armed in First Coast High bathroom was likely hoax, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a 911 call that appears to be a hoax triggered a lockdown at First Coast High School on Monday afternoon.

JSO Patrol Division Chief Jaime Eason said the 911 call came in at 1:46 p.m. The call came from a person who said they were in a bathroom at the school, in distress, armed, and was potentially going to cause harm, Eason said.

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The school sent the following initial message to families:

“Hello First Coast families this is Duval County Public Schools.

“We want to let you know that police are investigating a report of a possible firearm on campus. Due to the nature of this report and the current investigation, the school is currently in a lockdown status. Again, the school is in a lockdown status. Because this is so close to dismissal, it is possible that dismissal will be delayed.

“As we get additional information, we will keep you informed.”

The first officer arrived at the school at 1:51 p.m., Eason said. There were already Duval County School Police on site, and JSO linked up with them to search inside each of the school’s bathrooms.

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Eason said there was such a large police presence that responded to the school “because we take these calls seriously.”

Dismissal of students was delayed and parents were asked to not come to the school. DCPS said the school then sent this follow-up communication to parents:

“Hello again First Coast families, Dismissal continues to be on hold as the police search the campus. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has requested that parents do not come to the campus at this time. We will call you back when the situation is clear, and it is possible to begin dismissal.”

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After students, faculty, and staff were released from the school, officers did another search, and again, nothing was found, Eason said.

Eason said police are going to trace the phone number to figure out where the call came from and the person who made the call could face criminal charges.

Action News Jax spoke with Alexis Ford and Hannah Gaytes who graduated from First Coast High School and still have friends attending the school.

“We’ve seen lockdowns happen here before, cause I’ve lived in this area for like ten years, nothing like this. Nothing. So, when we pulled up I knew it was more serious,” said Gaytes.

Action News Jax told you in February 2023 when a false 911 call also triggered a widespread emergency personnel response to the school.

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