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Police say fake 911 call from suicidal man prompted lockdowns at UTEP, EPISD, CISD

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KVIA
A banner flies on the UTEP campus

UPDATE #6: El Paso police said Thursday night they had determined a suicidal caller to 911 who made threats that prompted the closure of the UTEP campus for the day as well as lockouts at other local schools was a fake.

"At 6:23 A.M., an unknown male called 911 making threats of harming himself, initiating an emergency response. The caller indicated that he was driving near the area of the University of Texas at El Paso," police said in a statement. "A variety of efforts were conducted in an attempt to find the possible caller in distress. The ongoing investigation has determined that the call was false."

Investigators are still trying to identify the caller and said he could face felony charge for making a false 911 call, which carries jail time.

Police asked anyone who can identify the person making the call to contact Crime Stoppers of El Paso at 566-8477 (TIPS).

UPDATE #5: El Paso police said threats made toward area schools by a suicidal man was responsible for triggering Thursday morning's school lockdowns.

EPPD said the investigation into those threats was ongoing and the department indicated that increased patrols would continue around the schools as a precaution.

UPDATE #4: As of 12:15 p.m., UTEP issued an "all clear" following a lockdown and shelter-in-place order issued earlier in the day.

"However, the UTEP campus will remain closed, with all classes cancelled for the remainder of today (Nov. 18). Faculty, staff and students should not remain on campus. Work remotely if possible," said a statement from UTEP officials.

UPDATE #3: As of 11:45 a.m., Canutillo ISD said its lockout for all school campuses has been lifted..

UPDATE #2: As of 11:30 a.m., an EPISD spokesman tells ABC-7 that the lockout at El Paso High, Wiggs, Armendariz, CCTE, YWA, Mesita, Mesita ECDC and Lamar has now been lifted.

"Law enforcement officials believe the threat is no longer imminent," EPISD said in a statement.

UTEP, however, continued to advise those on campus to shelter-in-place and said UTEP police officers were going building by building to check on people.

UPDATE: As of 11 a.m., officials said all Canutillo Independent School District campuses and facilities are under a lockout until further notice "due to a reported threat that may be in the Canutillo area."

Officials didn't immediately indicate whether the threat is the same that prompted lockdowns and lockouts at UTEP and a number of El Paso Independent School District campuses.

ORIGINAL REPORT: EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The University of Texas at El Paso was placed on lockdown early Thursday morning, after the school received reports of an armed suspect heading to campus.

School officials warned students, faculty and staff not to come to campus until an all-clear has been given.

Students and faculty received a message that read, "Dangerous Situation -- EPPD advises that suicidal suspect on drugs with weapon is on his way to UTEP, shelter in place."

The text message was sent just after 7 a.m.

EPISD said the following schools are on lockout due to a reported threat at UTEP: El Paso High, Wiggs, Armendariz, CCTE, YWA, Mesita, ECDC and Lamar. The district said all students should enter the building and go directly to class upon arrival.

Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas co-anchors ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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6 Comments

    1. Hey! did you hear about this? Judge Bruce Schroeder has announced Thursday that staff from MSNBC will no longer be allowed inside the Kenosha County Courthouse following the incident in which a person was observed following a bus that the jury uses to get to and from the building.

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