Rowan County Law Enforcement and community leaders respond to swatting incident

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 18:34:19-04

ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX18) — Some threats were reported overnight targeting Morehead State University and St. Claire Healthcare in Rowan County.

Just before midnight Tuesday the Rowan County Sheriff's Office got a 911 call.

Sheriff Matt Sparks says, "This individual reporting that he had shot and killed all his family members and gave us the address of where they were located and said that he would be waiting for us to respond."

Deputies responded to the address and found the homeowner was fine. Then, Wednesday morning between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., the Sheriff's Office got several reports of emails sent to St. Claire Healthcare and Morehead State University saying the same thing and even threatening "shooting and bombing" people in the area. Investigators say the emails were probably a hoax but reached out to keep people on alert.

St. Claire Healthcare President and CEO, Donald Lloyd, said, "In today's society and I’m sure law enforcement will once they identify the perpetrators will take the appropriate course of action."

Llyod said they had a similar call like this last year. They have a security team in uniform and in plain clothes ready to protect the health care center. Morehead State’s Rick Hesterberg said the main priority was keeping the campus safe.

“Just making sure that they were aware. So ask them that if they would happen to receive any type of threatened communication to please pass that onto our campus authorities,” says Hesterberg.

More than 2,000 people at St. Claire Healthcare and around 10,000 people at Morehead State University were impacted by this morning’s events. These leaders all say that it's communication in this tight-knit community that has kept everyone safe.

Sheriff Sparks, said, “We're a small enough community where we all have each other on speed dial."

Sheriff Sparks says whenever law enforcement gets a threat, they take it seriously.

"Even though we felt from early on that it was a swatting type call or a hoax. We still took it seriously. We still put people in place just on that rare event that there was any truth to it. "

Now, this community is looking for answers --hoping to find the person behind these threats