Search continues for “nut” prank caller, Alpine community contin - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Search continues for “nut” prank caller, Alpine community continues to recover

Sul Ross University under lockdown during threatening calls (Source: KWES) Sul Ross University under lockdown during threatening calls (Source: KWES)
Big Bend Regional Medical Center in lockdown during threatening calls. (Source: KWES) Big Bend Regional Medical Center in lockdown during threatening calls. (Source: KWES)
Alpine High School students consoling each other following tragic shooting at Alpine High School. (Source: KWES) Alpine High School students consoling each other following tragic shooting at Alpine High School. (Source: KWES)
ALPINE, TX (KWES) -

Authorities in Alpine are still searching for a prank caller. He created even more chaos in the small community after the school shooting by making threatening phone calls.

Authorities said they have a suspect, now it's only a matter of catching him and making an arrest.

The phone calls were made after the Alpine High School shooting, threatening to shoot up Sul Ross University and the Big Bend Regional Medical Center.

Officials said more units of law enforcement were called in to secure the area, costing the small city of Alpine lots of money.

Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said the incident was a "nut” making prank calls, but said they plan on having that "nut" behind bars and prosecuted.

Authorities aren't the only ones frustrated with the caller and wanting him to pay for the stress he has caused.

“I just can't believe someone would be so cold hearted, stupid and sick,” said Alpine resident, Judy Freeman. “Really, to make a phone call like that, for any reason much less on the heels of such a tragic event.”

Others said even though no one was physically harmed, the threats were real.

“It was very frightening because you don't know who's behind it or if there really are bombs or not,” said business owner, Judy Anderson. “I know so many people who work at the college and the high school and the hospital.”

After the calls were made, both the university and hospital were placed under lockdown. The lockdowns were lifted once all the areas were declared safe.

Dodson said forensic tests were done on a phone and he hopes to catch the suspect within the next few days.

The prank caller will face several federal charges.

Alpine High School students were let back on campus Friday afternoon for the first time since the shooting. The mood was somber as students were emotional stepping foot on campus again. Police presence was high as the students were allowed to get their belongings from inside the school and their cars in the parking lot.

Marissa Anderson graduated from Alpine in May and got the news of the shooting while she was at work.

"It was just a shock, a complete shock. I was standing here in the middle of work and didn't know what to do,” said Anderson. “All I could do was hope that all of my friends at the school would be okay."

Anderson said most students who are in the school district have known each other since kindergarten. She emphasized the district as a whole is like a family and said if someone was new, they would be immediately accepted and making friends isn't an issue in Alpine.

Judy Anderson has grand kids at Alpine Elementary and panicked once she heard the news.

"It's scary. I was worried about how they were going to respond to it, and I didn't know what the school officials were going to be telling them and they didn't tell them really anything that caused fear in the kids which was awesome,” said Anderson. “The kids just thought they were getting an early out."

Trained counselors and clergy will be available for the Alpine community. On Sunday, students and parents can get together to talk about the tragedy during a forum held at 1:30 p.m. at the Alpine Civic Center.

Counselors will also be on hand for anyone who needs them when school starts back on Monday.

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