TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) – Temple Police are looking for the person who made a fake call about a double shooting.
When officers arrived, they realized this was what is called a swatting incident when everyone at the home was found safe, “The owners of the home spoke with them and they were unaware that a call was placed to their home, that officers were dispatched to their location,” says Megan Price City of Temple Public Relations Coordinator.
For some, swatting is considered like a prank call, but authorities take it seriously as officers go to a location where they believe a horrific crime has been committed or is in progress. Around 9pm on Halloween, officers were sent to the 1400 Block of South 5th Street for reports of shots fired with two injured.
“I’m not sure what the motivation behind it was or for most calls or for this one specifically, but it does impede with dispatch calls. So dispatchers are always getting a lot of calls. And when we get calls, false emergency calls like this, they can overwhelm them with emergencies that are not actually happening,” says Price.
Numerous officers responded to the area, closing a section of South 5th Street. Police discovered several details leading them to believe the call to be a swatting incident. Swatting is a form of harassment that can endanger the lives of the victims and the responders, while tying up a large number of police resources.
False emergency calls divert emergency personnel from situations where help is needed. Temple police are investigating who placed the initial call, and when officers identify that person the punishment could be anywhere from a fine to jail time.