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911 calls: Fear was real even if shooting wasn't

Fans cleared the stands during frightening false alarm at Oakleaf High

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – You can hear the panic in the voices of people who called 911 after reports of a shooting at a football game last Friday night at Oakleaf High School.

A criminal investigation is underway to figure out who shouted "run" at the game, prompting people to clear the stands. The Clay County Sheriff's Office told News4Jax that someone had called 911 to falsely report that shots had been fired, but school police at the stadium said there was never any gunfire. 

"We got numerous calls on it, but everybody's there saying that there's not one," a dispatcher can be heard saying in one of the calls, which were obtained by News4Jax on Thursday.

But the fear was real.

911 operator: Clay County 911. What's the address of your emergency?
Caller:  The football field, I'm really not sure. I just took the red light because I had to pick up my kids. 
911 operator: And you said it was a male? How many adults were there?
Caller: Two males, four males? My son just told me four males.

The game between Oakleaf and Ed White was briefly suspended and the field cleared as Clay County deputies and school police investigated.

911 operator: You said they're hiding where?
Caller:  They're by the portables by the back of the school, close to the band room. They're not sure if it's safe to come out. It's dark and they don't know what to do.

LISTEN: Callers report shooting at football game

Another person called 911 after hearing from her daughter, who was at the school.

911 operator: We've got multiple units on it. We've had multiple calls. She needs to stay where she's at. 
Caller: She's in the ROTC room right now.
Operator: She needs to stay where she's at. 

School officials say an unrelated social media threat may have also fueled the chaos. Deputies responded as a safety precaution and the game resumed about 40 minutes later. School officials said no gun was ever found. 


About the Authors:

Steve Patrick

Created WJXT.com in 1995 and been running The Local Station's website ever since.

Mary Baer

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Bear anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.