WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (WIVB) – The Williamsville School District is warning the community to be careful when opening text messages from unknown cell phone numbers. The warning comes after area residents received the recording of the Jefferson Avenue Tops mass shooting from random numbers.

The school district sent a message to families Wednesday after Amherst police told them that Western New York residents and students in the district received videos of Saturday’s mass shooting in Tops.

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

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

News 4 has contacted the Amherst Police Department for more information, we are awaiting a response.

Dear Williamsville Central School District Families and Staff,

I would like to share an update with our school community regarding the information we have received following the traumatic event that unfolded in Buffalo this past weekend. The district has been informed that videos of the violent attack are being texted to random numbers throughout our area. We have been notified by the Amherst Police Department (APD) that students in our district have unfortunately been the recipients 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 spam and are currently under investigation.

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

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


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. Check out more of his work here.

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