KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Less than a day after a Lenexa, Kansas neighborhood was rattled by the site of police responding to what was initially described as an armed disturbance, police have released more information in what turned out to be the city’s first case of “swatting.”
Swatting – the practice of someone sending police to an address, oftentimes describing violent crimes, despite no criminal activity happening or even the address being random – gained national attention late last year when Wichita, Kansas police responded to a similar call.
In the Wichita case, police shot and killed an innocent man whose address was not associated with any criminal activity.
In Lenexa, the ending turned out better.
Just after 5 p.m. Thursday, Lenexa officers raced to a house in the 1200 block of Caenen Lake Drive after they received a call someone was going to kill their parents and anyone who responded.
“We cordoned off part of the block, surrounded the home,” said Lenexa Police spokesman Danny Chavez.
Police officers and SWAT were there for more than half hour, but the details of the initial call were completely fake.
Chavez said the person used an app called KIK to message the National Crisis Hotline.
“The crisis line called our dispatch so we were really getting this information, you know second hand, never had direct contact with the perpetrator.”
On Friday, neighbors told 41 Action News they were scared about what was happening on their street and feared the worst.
They were relieved nothing bad happened, but it the effort wasted the department’s time and money.
“We have all of our resources tied up in one call, but calls are still coming into our dispatch center and in the case of last night we have to rely on another agency,” said Chavez.
Neighbors wondered Friday why anyone would do this.
“It’s definitely disappointing because of the amount of resources; It’s not like a simple call, one person shows up, you have this big whole team,” said neighbor Chris Hernandez.
Chavez said they are looking into a tip that the caller may be from the New York City area, potentially making the case even harder to solve.