San Antonio police clashed Tuesday, September 20, with worried parents over a reported school shooting that never happened.
Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio was in lockdown around 1pm Tuesday after police received a phone call about a possible active shooter.
But as officers entered the school and cleared classrooms, they found no evidence of the reported, violent threat.
Chief Johnny Reyes of the San Antonio Independent School District police stated:
“Our department and San Antonio Police Department established there was no shooting, but then we had to do a methodical search room by room with our strike teams,
“We went to the place where they said the shooting had occurred and we were able to quickly establish that no shooting had happened.”
However, chaos unfolded as a result of parents descending upon the school en masse in response to the initial distressing phone calls they received from their kids during the presumed moment of crisis.
Parents gathered outside demanding answers while police completed a sweep of the campus.
One parent at the scene said they thought of "Uvalde"–the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 children and two teachers were murdered by an 18-year-old gunman.
Another parent who was worried they may never see their children again said:
“I’m just worried about the children, my daughter, my two daughters Katlyn and Sarah Estrada."
"I love you... your dad loves you."
"Just don’t be in fear, you’re going to come out of their fine.”
The scene turned to pandaemonium when a man broke through a window using a nearly one-foot-long knife, according to News 4.
You can watch a news report, here.
In spite of the chaos, San Antonio district Superintendent Jaime Aquino called police response effective.
“Our kids were safe. We followed our protocol and our process."
"And we practiced for this, so I am proud that we were able to do that."
"I know we are living in very difficult times."
"But you need to trust us.”
However, he did admit the district needed to find better ways to communicate with alarmed parents in real-time.
“I’m assuming that if we had not had Uvalde, perhaps we would not have the reaction of the parents."
"So we just have to understand that."