Active Shooter April Fools' Joke Lands Woman in Jail After Causing Panic

A woman has been arrested after playing an active shooter April Fools' prank on her sister, prompting police and other emergency responders to search a factory in Springfield, Ohio.

Pamela Sisco, 57, of New Carlisle, Ohio, was arrested Thursday by Clark County police and is due in court Friday morning on charges including inducing panic and disrupting public services, the CBS-affiliated WHIO television station reported.

Sisco texted her sister on Thursday claiming there was an active shooter at the Navistar manufacturing plant north of the city of Springfield. Sisco said she was hiding with other employees in locked offices, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

The sister called the police, who arrived at the facility within minutes to find no sign of shooting. Officers found Sisco who then admitted the text was an April Fools' prank.

"Basically she had called her sister and said something to the effect of a guy was fired yesterday and has come back in with a gun," Major Chris Clark told the Springfield News-Sun. "We are all hiding in a locked office and asked her to call the police."

Everyone was completely fine," Clark explained. "There was a lot of resources that we used today and put in place today all over a stupid April Fools' joke... We want to thank everyone who backed us up. We had a lot of great resources from other agencies that were willing to step up."

Sheriff Deb Burchett was angered by the prank, with one of her deputies the first to arrive at the scene of the supposed shooting. "It's sick," she said. "It's a sick joke that's what it is, and it's not a joke as far as I'm concerned."

Locals recalled their fear at what they thought was a serious incident. Plant employee Michelle Newman told WHIO she was "beyond confused" when deputies arrived at the facility with their guns drawn. "They held us at gunpoint and we had to basically put our hands up and walk to them," she said.

Toni Hamilton said he "didn't know if I was going to talk to my son again in those seconds," speaking with WHIO. "It was horrible," he added.

The Navistar company that owns the plant said that a woman had been suspended after the incident, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

Elsewhere, police in Wichita, Kansas also arrested a woman over a fake shooting report meant as an April Fools' prank. Arnthia Willis, 58, was arrested after phoning her daughter and claiming she had been shot, before hanging up.

Police and other responders rushed to the scene, but found no one in Willis' house. They later found her at work, where she admitted she had been playing a prank on her daughter.

Police Lieutenant Ronald Hunt told reporters at the scene: "April Fools' can be a good, funny little joke in some circumstances." However, he added that "it's not funny any more" when it results in a police call out. "This is a situation that is very dangerous."

Active shooter training materials in Colorado
This file photo shows training materials at the Flatrock Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado on August 10, 2019. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images