The so-called “real life Purge” in Louisville, Kentucky may have all been a hoax as a student has stepped forward to claim responsibility.
The origin of the rumors about the Purge started with an image of a poster for the movie that claimed the Purge would happen from 8 p.m. Friday through 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
The image was shared on Twitter, along with images for other cities such as Detroit and Miami.
A student at duPont Manual High School, who was not identified, told the school newspaper Manual Red Eye that he did it for laughs.
It was originally supposed to be just a fun thing, I never thought it’d get as serious as it did,” said the student.
“I was really shocked the first time I saw local media covering it.”
“The police came to my house yesterday. I told them I was just joking around,” he added. The student later announced that he’d been kicked off the school’s football team.
“I was sitting in my house and watching ‘The Purge,’ and I thought of the tweet and picture that started it. But didn’t think it’d get that big from there. I didn’t mean any harm by this at all. I love my city,” the student said.
The threats based on the movies were taken seriously by police. “We’re going to take any threat that we receive seriously, particularly one that encourages and incites violence against our community,” Louisville Metro Police Department Sergeant and spokesman Phil Russell said.
A high school football scrimmage was postponed from Friday night while many residents expressed fear over violence actually happening through social media and to local media outlets.
People began tuning in to the Louisville police scanner, trying to figure out if the threats would come true.
There was even a live blog posted on Thought Catalog, with the author claiming: “I’m In Louisville Right Now And The Louisville Purge May Actually Be Happening.”
The author, Rob Fee, gave a running update on the crimes happening in Louisville on Friday night into Saturday morning. However, Fee is actually a noted comedian, and the post seems to be a joke.