Police are still looking for information after a prank call drew several officers to a home near Strasburg on Saturday night, prompting law enforcement to send an alert to residents to avoid the area.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter said on Monday that deputies responded to a call about a boy who said he shot a family member and was holding two others hostage. Carter said the swatting call — calling an emergency line to send law enforcement to another person’s address — is not uncommon and that the county has dealt with a handful of similar cases over the last three years.
On Saturday, nine Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisted by Strasburg police in responding to the home on Breckenridge Court. Carter said police arrived, assuming the call was genuine and used a PA system to alert the people inside the house that they were outside.
Carter said the homeowners came outside when they heard the announcement and police determined that the call was a prank. Carter stressed that the event wasn’t funny and someone could have been hurt.
Carter said police believe the caller was a young male but have not had any luck in tracking where the call came from. He said callers often use apps or other means of hiding their location when they make the call.
Whoever placed the call faces a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report to law enforcement, Carter said, and other charges may be pressed based on the investigation.