Panic as ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ voicemail message is mistaken for school shooting threat

All schools in Beaver County, Pennsylvania put on panic alert due to misheard song lyrics...

The theme tune for The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air caused widespread panic leading to a county-wide school lockdown in the US last week (February 28) after it was mistaken for a shooting threat.

As the Times Online reports, schools in Beaver County, Pennsylvania were put on security alert after a receptionist called Travis Clawson, a 19-year-old student from Ambridge Area High School, to confirm details of an appointment with his eye doctor.

Clawson’s phone went to his voicemail message, which included a recording of him reciting the lyrics to the Will Smith-rapped song, including the lines: “Shooting some b-ball outside of the school”.


The receptionist, however, misheard the phrase as “shooting people outside of the school” and contacted the police, who advised all schools in the area to go on a 20-minute lockdown while they searched for the Clawson – he was eventually swarmed by officers who found him in his high school’s guidance office and was taken into custody, before he explained the misunderstanding.

Acting police chief James Mann said: “I believe everyone acted appropriately. Our first concern is the safety of kids.” Clawson was later released without charge – although not before officials urged him to change his voicemail message.