Police identify 9-year-old as false 911 caller

Law enforcement personnel with rifles take up position outside Latrobe Elementary School on Wednesday, responding to a 911 call that claimed several shots were fired inside the school. After sweeping through the school, police determined it was likely a hoax, and have since identified the caller as a known juvenile who is 9 years old.

State police say they identified a 9-year-old who made a false 911 call stating that several shots were fired inside Latrobe Elementary School (LES) on Wednesday, prompting local authorities to respond to the threat.

A joint investigation between Pennsylvania State Police and the Latrobe Police Department revealed the known juvenile made the false 911 call intentionally.

At approximately 12:54 p.m., a call of an active shooter at LES was reported to Westmoreland County 911, resulting in all district buildings locking down. The situation cleared around 2 p.m. Shortly after, the school district said “agencies believe this threat may have been a prank.”

Latrobe police, with the assistance of Pennsylvania State Police and surrounding departments, secured the school and investigated the threat, which they did not find to be credible.

Staff and students were reported to be safe, and no one was injured.

Latrobe Police Chief John Sleasman said the “sensitive investigation” is ongoing. The 9-year-old’s name was not disclosed.

State police say further evaluation is continuing between Westmoreland County agencies and law enforcement.

In a press release from Tpr. Stephen Limani, public information officer, he wrote, “The Greater Latrobe School District administration and staff did an excellent job adhering to protocol and working with law enforcement.”

Concerned parents gathered outside LES on Wednesday as the incident unfolded. Police remained onsite until dismissal, as some parents expressed a desire to remove their children before normal dismissal time, worried that their children were scared by the threat.

Parents quickly notified of the incident on Wednesday after the false 911 call was made, via the school district’s automated phone system.

“The school messaging service and state police Twitter account were used to keep parents updated as the incident progressed,” Limani continued. “We cannot understate how much we appreciate the patience and trust of the Latrobe parents during such a stressful event.”

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