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Waukesha police address rumors of planned school shooting

No specific threat made, but police will have extra presence around three public high schools

Dec. 18, 2012

Sgt. Jerry Habanek said the Waukesha Police Department has been receiving calls since late afternoon on Monday about a rumor circulating on Facebook of a possible shooting that may occur on Friday at Waukesha North High School.

However, he said, at this point, the information stems from rumor and not a specific threat.

Nevertheless, Habanek added that the department will have an extra police presence surrounding North, as well as Waukesha West and Waukesha South on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

While the rumor is said to be at North, he said the department is taking extra precaution at the other two schools. 

He added, from his knowledge, a student overheard the rumor.   

"It started a Facebook frenzy," Habanek said.

Habanek explained the calls the department has received regarding the rumor have come from students and parents. In a phone interview, Habanek said their department has received around 15 to 20 calls and the district as received some as well.

Habanek said his department has spent the day interviewing students and parents from the three Waukesha Public High Schools.

"We’ll continue to do that for the next couple of days to find out where this rumor came from," Habanek said.

He said the information is being released to inform and not to alarm or cause a panic.

"As always, the Waukesha Police Department takes every potential threat seriously, especially in light of recent events," said Habanek, referring to last week's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. "The Waukesha Police Department is working closely with the schools to determine the source of the threat."

He added the Waukesha School District and Police Department are working jointly to address the rumors as neighboring schools in the district have experienced a similar situation.

"This is most likely fueled by the ability to quickly communicate through the use of social networking sites," Habanek said.

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