RENTON, Wash. — Several police officers responded to a Renton neighborhood Tuesday for reports of shots being fired, only to find out there was no shooting.
Renton Police said it was a false report of a shooting, which is often described as "swatting."
Swatting is when a person calls 911 to report a fake crime in progress. The crimes are usually violent in nature, such as a shooting or hostage situation, to generate a faster response from police and often the SWAT team. However, the SWAT team was not dispatched for this report.
In this case, police responded to the call at a house along Maple Valley Court and had their guns drawn.
Ryan Mar's daughter was home alone when it happened and was startled when police yelled for her to come outside.
“She was in the shower, and got the call and she was asked to come outside with her hands up at that time. So, yeah, she’s pretty shaken and frightened at the time, and rightfully so with guns drawn at you,” said Mar.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
A swatting call in Kansas in 2017 ended with an innocent man being shot and killed by police.
The Seattle Police Department recently rolled out technology that helps citizens protect themselves from swatting. People can create an online profile that's only accessible by 911 dispatchers and police and the idea is to provide information about yourself and your home that can help police determine if someone may be swatting you.