OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Overland Park police are trying to find out who made a fake report of a shooting. The hoax call sent officers to a home on West 131st Street Monday morning.
Police spokesperson Officer John Lacy said dispatch received a call from a man claiming he shot a relative inside the home. The man told dispatchers he would shoot police if they showed up.
The tactical response team was activated to make contact with the suspected shooter. Police with long guns surrounded the home and blocked off the street.
Once police started a dialogue the people inside, officers determined they had nothing to do with the call. Lacy said police believe someone at a different location reported the fake crime.
“Situations like this - we take very seriously,” Lacy explained. “We don't think it's a joke. We don't think it's funny, or anything like that. If we find out who made the phone call, they may be looking at charges.”
Lacy said finding the person who made the call is the next step in the investigation.
Police do not believe the father or his two sons who were inside the home at the time of the incident were involved in the situation.
Lacy said the department would investigate the crime as a “swatting” incident. "Swatting" is a prank made popular in the gaming world that involves someone making reports a false crime in an attempt to make a SWAT team respond to a location.
“When you have these types of calls, it makes law enforcement - our job more difficult,” Lacy said.
While police were relieved no one was actually in harm’s way, Lacy said it is frustrating to launch a full scale response to a false crime. Neighbors agreed, saying the hoax was not funny.
“I think they need to find whoever did it and prosecute them. Life is not fun and games. You have to accept responsibility for stuff,” neighbor Chandra Reynolds said.
Lacy said this is the only hoax-type of call he remembers in Overland Park over the past two years.