Three Meadowview-neighborhood schools were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning as police raced to the area after receiving a call of a shooting near one of the campuses.
Fear quickly turned to frustration as arriving officers found the area clear of any evidence of a shooting and determined the call was a hoax.
By Wednesday evening, Sacramento police had not been able to identify or locate the caller, who could face charges of making a false report.
Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse described it as a serious offense, especially in light of heightened sensitivities in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.
"Law enforcement, teachers and parents alike are all very aware of the recent gun violence," Morse said. "Situations and reports like this are taken very seriously."
About 10:45 a.m., dispatchers received a call that there had been a shooting near one of the campuses police declined to say which one. That school, and two others nearby, were locked down as Sacramento police officers sped to the area.
Two of the campuses, Luther Burbank High and Rosa Parks Middle School, were locked down for about five minutes before officers confirmed that no shooting had occurred. Mark Hopkins Elementary was locked down for about a half-hour, as police began trying to track down the prankster. They were not successful.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.