Rowan County Sheriff's Office investigating 'swatting' incident at Morehead State, St. Claire HealthCare

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Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 11:14:29-04

ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Rowan County Sheriff's Office is investigating a "swatting" incident that targeted Morehead State University and St. Claire HealthCare.

According to Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks, an individual called Tuesday night claiming they had killed their family and gave a residential address. Sparks says the sheriff's office was skeptical of the call because the person disguised their voice using a digital program. When officials arrived at the residence, everyone was fine.

Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, several individuals received emails telling a similar story that the person had killed their family. However, in the emails the individual also threatened to shoot people on Morehead State's campus and at St. Claire HealthCare.

The person also threatened to detonate an IED on the campus. These emails were sent to Morehead State, St. Claire HealthCare, and Rowan County Schools employees. Sparks says people in Lebanon and Springfield also received these emails.

LEX 18 reached out to St. Claire HealthCare for a statement on the reports of threats being made there:

A number of “swatting” incidents have been reported to local law enforcement agencies throughout the night and into this morning. Initially the threats were directed toward Morehead State University, but St. Claire HealthCare and the main campus has also been mentioned within these most recent communications.

St. Claire HealthCare has been in touch with all law enforcement agencies. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department and Morehead Police Department are advising, counseling, and assisting St. Claire HealthCare with enhanced security measures.

At this time, we have not restricted access to our facilities, but please be assured we have taken prudent and effective security measures based on the threat and have a heightened a security presence visible on St. Claire HealthCare’s main campus.

We are hopeful law enforcement will quickly apprehend the suspect or suspects. Until that time, St. Claire HealthCare will continue to take all necessary actions to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and staff.

Anyone who may have received this threatening email is asked to call the Rowan County Sheriff at 606-784-5446.

LEX 18 Investigates first addressed the issue of "swatting" last year, highlighting one couple's experience. On April 12, Gov. Beshear officially signed a bill that makes "swatting" a felony.