Hutchinson County Sheriff: Caller reports false shooting after conflict during game of ‘Fortnite’

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Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 8:58 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Officials in Hutchinson County are investigating after a caller provided false information about a shooting this morning, a false alarm officials say is related to a trend known as “SWATTING.”

Borger dispatch received a call at 4:41 a.m. this morning in reference to a man saying he had shot and killed his mother while high on PCP.

The call originated in Fritch, and law enforcement officers from Borger Police Department, Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office and Fritch Police Department responded to the shooting “due to the nature of the call.”

SWAT personnel with Hutchinson County also responded to the home.

Upon arrival, officers found that no shooting had occurred.

Officials began investigating the call and discovered it was linked to a player who became angry with the victim during a match of the popular game “Fortnite.”

The player accessed a local IP address, which allowed them to find the victim’s location.

Officials said the caller was communicating with the victim via a common online communication platform known as Discord.

The suspect then contacted law enforcement in the area to provoke the armed response at the home.

HCSO said this is a common trend known as “SWATTING.”

“[It] not only puts law enforcement personnel at risk, but also places the victim of the call at risk as well,” wrote HCSO. “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.”

Officials said there is no threat at this time and no shooting occurred.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the call and its origin.

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