A 12-year-old boy is in custody and facing criminal charges after he allegedly called 911 at midday Tuesday, claiming there had been a shooting at Sioux City West High School.

Police Lieutenant Chris Groves says they quickly determined it was a prank. “Officers first responded to West High School and found that there was nothing there, everything was okay,” Groves says. “Through the investigation, we determined that the call originated near North Middle School.”

There was also no trouble at North Middle School. The investigation led officers to the boy, whose name was not released. The boy was taken to juvenile detention on a charge of making a false police report, a serious misdemeanor. Groves says the call caused many anxious moments for school officials, authorities, parents and students.

“I actually put it on Facebook right away just to hopefully let people know that this was a false claim and that everything was okay,” he says, “but what that does is just cause chaos in everyone’s life.” Groves says this is the latest in a series of recent crank calls which all appear to have come from the same source.

“That particular phone number has made other prank or at least false, fictitious calls into the communications center over the last three weeks,” he says. Officers are investigating to determine whether any other juveniles were involved in the calls.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)