Text about shooting hoops at school leads to false alarm

By JAMIE PATTERSON,
A misdirected text about shooting basketball at the school led to law enforcement preparing for a possible campus shooting.
Police Chief Ron Sampson said local enforcement were notified Tuesday evening about a text message that raised concern over its content. 
“The message was between a guy and his friend, but it was also sent to a second person who was the wrong number,” Sampson said. “The message read, ‘shooting at Yazoo High School at 7 a.m. tomorrow.’”
Sampson said the text message began to circulate, eventually making its way to Chief Cedric Brown, the Yazoo City Municipal School District’s campus police chief and director of safety. Brown then notified local law enforcement, resulting in the Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department and the Yazoo City Police Department becoming involved with the investigation. 
“We got the information Tuesday night and went until as long as we could,” Sampson said. “By Wednesday morning, we had a fully-formed plan in place. We were not taking any chances. In today’s time, you can’t afford to take chances.”
The investigation led to the person who originally sent the text message. 
“We had a chance to interview the guy who sent the message, but it was in regards to shooting basketball,” Sampson said. “It was great that it was a false alarm, but it was excellent coordination between law enforcement and school officials. Everything worked out great, and we are communicating across the lines.”
Sampson said a high school assistant principal also requested that his department visit the school periodically. 
“Our presence set a positive tone through the school that day,” Sampson said. “It was great this incident wasn’t what it could have been. But it showed we are committed to partnerships, and we will begin more practices and exercises.