BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Over the weekend, reports of guns on two Benton County high school campuses were called into police, but they both turned out to be false alarms.
Bentonville Police responded to Bentonville High School at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, evening after getting reports of an individual with a gun on campus. This was during the school’s homecoming dance that was being held outside in the courtyard.
Jennifer Whitson’s daughter is a sophomore at Bentonville High School. She says her daughter and friends got to the dance about 15 minutes before the chaos started and they took off running.
“My daughter told me there had been things going around on Snapchat and group texts saying someone had a gun or maybe someone was going to bring a gun, so there was already kind of a buzz, I think," Whitson said. "Then all of the sudden, she doesn’t really know what happened, all of the sudden someones yelled gun and they all started running."
Whitson says her daughter and boyfriend were taken inside the school where students were put on lockdown while Bentonville Police started their investigation.
Corporal Adam McInnis says from all the interviews they have conducted, they believe there was not a gun on campus, and this was a false report.
“Right now, it’s an open investigation, so we are looking into those claims and whether they are true or not," McInnis said. "With anything, we want to do the best to collect evidence and statements to determine exactly what happened."
The night before, a similar incident happened after the football game at Rogers High School. Rogers Police received a report of gunfire and the school was put on lockdown, this also was a false report.
McInnis says they were already in touch with Rogers Police before the incident happened in Bentonville.
“Working with them to kind of see what occurred on their end," he said. "To see if there was anything, we could assist them with. We have some insight into that investigation and so we’ll continue to work with them to truly happened on their end, what happened on our end, and see if there is any connection there."
Whitson says with both incidents happening on back-to-back nights and it makes her wonder if this is the latest TikTok trend. She says she hopes the police are able to get to the bottom of it.
“I really want to thank the people that were there, those times we send our kids off to school or school events and we aren’t there," Whitson said. "We are trusting our kids to be safe in those moments and for the people who are there to take care of them."
The Bentonville Police Department asks anyone with information on the incident from Saturday night to please call their non-emergency line.