Ocean Shores police deal with “swatting” incident

Such calls are uncommon in the area

Ocean Shores police handled a swatting call on Friday afternoon made against a resident of the town.

Swatting is when a caller reports a fake incident or threat that will generate a rapid law enforcement response, such as reporting a shooting death or an active shooter, said Deputy Chief Kyle Watson of the Ocean Shores Police Department in an interview.

This call came in for an address on Butterclam Drive at about 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Watson said; OSPD officers responded to the scene even as they notified county and state authorities, following protocols for a suspected shooting incident.

“The last one came out was a shooting call,” Watson said. “Our guys made contact with the homeowner, no issues.”

The swatting call was phoned in by someone the resident was gaming with, Watson said.

The call came in on a non-emergency line without showing a callback number, Watson said, and the reporting party said that one person at the address had already been shot and killed with an AR, with the shooter unwilling to be taken into custody.

Nationally, swatting incidents have risen exponentially in the last decade, occasionally resulting in injuries or deaths as law enforcement respond rapidly to what could be a developing mass-shooting situation. A good way to avoid becoming a subject of a swatting call is to know who you’re playing online with, Watson said.

It’s unknown if this incident is connected to the bomb threat called in last week, Watson said.

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@thedailyworld.com.

Tags: ,