UPDATED: March 2, 2017 at 12:02 p.m.
A rumor that two students had been shot and killed at Riverside-Brookfield High School and that the school is on lockdown is false, said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, whose detectives have pinpointed the origin of the rumor, which had begun to spread on the morning of March 2.
Weitzel said he first heard about the rumor from a producer at WBBM radio, who called at 10:10 a.m. on March 2 to confirm an anonymous tip that had been left on the radio station’s “news tip” voicemail.
After being contacted, Weitzel called the school’s public safety liaison, Lane Niemann, who said there had been no such incident and that the school was operating normally.
Weitzel said the rumor was beginning to spread and that someone he described as a “concerned parent” had walked into the Riverside police station to ask about it. Riverside police responded to the high school as a precaution.
“It’s completely false,” he said.
What happened, Weitzel told the Landmark, is that a student at RBHS received a text message on her phone regarding a March 2 shooting that left two people dead at Central Michigan University.
The student forwarded the message to her father, who, according to Weitzel, misread the text and believed it involved RBHS. The father contacted another relative, who apparently phoned the radio station, said Weitzel.
“It just shows you how quickly things get out of control,” Weitzel said.