WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Williamsville School District is warning the community to be careful opening text messages from unknown cellphone numbers. The warning comes after people around the region received the recording of the Jefferson Avenue Tops mass shooting from random numbers.

The school district put a message out to families Wednesday after Amherst Police told them people across Western New York and district students had received videos of Saturday’s mass shooting at Tops.

Williamsville Schools Superintendent Dr. Darren J. Brown-Hall asks parents to speak with their children and to avoid opening text messages from unknown numbers.

The district said administrators, counselors and mental health support staff are available for students and staff that need to talk.

News 4 has reached out to the Amherst Police Department for more information, we’re waiting to hear back.

Dear Williamsville Central School District Families and Staff,

I want to share an update with our school community regarding information we have received following the traumatic event that unfolded in Buffalo this past weekend.  The District was made aware that videos from the violent attack are being text messaged to random numbers throughout our region.  We have been informed by the Amherst Police Department (APD) that students in our District have unfortunately been the recipient of these random messages and have reported them.

In our discussions with APD, these text messages, which appear to have numbers from different states and countries, appear to be spammed and are currently being investigated.

Please have a discussion with your child(ren) and members of your school community. If you or your child(ren) receive a text message from a number you do not recognize, avoid opening that message. No one should have to relive or be re-traumatized from the images of terror that unfolded last Saturday. 

Our administrators, counselors, and mental health support staff continue to be available for any student or staff member that needs someone to talk to or ask questions.

Sincerely,

Dr. Darren J. Brown-Hall
Superintendent of Schools

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.