HUTCHINSON COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office warned community members of a dangerous trend after a Thursday morning call falsely sent SWAT personnel to a home in Fritch.
According to the sheriff’s office, Borger Dispatch received a call from Fritch at around 4:41 a.m. on Thursday in which a man claimed he had shot and killed his mother and was high on PCP. Law enforcement from the Borger Police Department, Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office, and Fritch Police Department responded to the call, and the sheriff’s office’s SWAT members were called to assist.
However, the sheriff’s office said that when officials arrived at the scene they found that no shooting had happened: instead, someone had victimized a Fritch resident through a dangerous trend known as “swatting.”
During the investigation of the call, according to the sheriff’s office, officials found that during a match of the popular game “Fortnite,” a player had gotten angry and was able to access a local IP address and find their victim’s location. The suspected caller was in contact with the victim using the online platform Discord, and contacted local law enforcement to provoke an armed response to the home.
“This is a common trend known as “swatting” and not only puts law enforcement personnel at risk, but also places the victim of the call at risk as well, due to the nature of the call.” said the sheriff’s office. “We strongly recommend keeping a watchful eye over kids at home playing games online and also strongly suggest vetting who your children talk to online while playing these games.”
The sheriff’s office noted that there was no threat to the community, and reiterated that no shooting occurred. The investigation into the home and the call’s origin was reported to be ongoing.
This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates.