COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Colorado Springs responded to a “swatting” call on Sunday night which led them to a home where a 21-year-old woman was playing video games.
Officers responded to the 5600 block of Lee Young Drive just before 7 p.m. Sunday on reports of a shooting at the residence. When they arrived, they cordoned off the area.
“As it turns out, it was a swatting call for service, where it’s apparent that someone was gaming online with other people, and for one reason or another, that led to someone most likely outside the state sending a false phone call to our communication center stating that there was a shooting and a hostage situation inside the residence,” said Colorado Springs Police Sgt. L.C. Morgan.
In this case, the caller claimed he had just shot his mother and girlfriend.
Swatting calls are known to call 911 with fake emergencies, prompting SWAT teams to respond. Typically tracking where the calls come from is difficult because they are dummy numbers that are unable to be tracked.
“I think that people just don’t realize and understand that when they do this sort of thing, it takes us away from doing something equally important,” Morgan explained. “At a moment’s notice we can be called or summoned to go anywhere else, do anything else to help anyone else. As you have seen, the number of cops that we had here on this deal, it’s a pretty high number because obviously we want to work safely, we want to have the right numbers.”
In Colorado, swatters can only be charged with misdemeanors. Only bomb threats are felonies. Lawmakers are debating tougher consequences for swatters.