Sacramento police standoff turns out to be a case of ‘swatting’

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Sacramento Police Department said a recent incident involving them has now been confirmed as a hoax, also known as swatting.

Around 1:45 a.m. Friday, neighbors on Yampa Circle heard the SWAT team from their beds.

“You could see all the lights. They were talking to somebody telling them to come out. ‘Come out to the front yard, we’re going in the backyard,’” said neighbor Louie Moreno.

Sacramento police said the call came in from a man who said he had killed his family and that he was armed with a rifle.

FOX40 obtained a recording of a call between a dispatcher and an officer following the man’s call:

Dispatcher: “Saying he will shoot anyone who comes near the door … And he’s saying he's got an AR and a 9 mm.”

Officer: "Do we have the capability to call in the neighboring houses on each side to see if they've heard anything?"

Officer: “ ... All lights inside the house appear to be off. There’s a back patio that's light is on. Nobody in the backyard at this time.”

The family of three inside the house told FOX40 their dog woke them.

“Chihuahua started barking,” said one of the homeowners, who did not want to be identified. “I told my husband to bring him back inside before he wakes up all the neighbors.”

The swatting victim said shortly after the dog woke them, they heard an officer on the loudspeaker.

“'Resident, come out.’ And I didn’t know at that point if it was someone at the side of my house in my backyard or in my backyard. And I stopped and I looked at my husband and I’m like, ‘Uh, they’re saying our house,’” the swatting victim said.

That’s when she said she called 911 to find out who the SWAT officers were trying to find. The dispatcher told her and her family to slowly walk outside and speak to the officers.

“My husband and my daughter come out. They’re then questioning us and asked if they can go into the home with our permission,” the homeowner said. “I said, 'Most definitely, go in the home, check it out.' They checked everything out, they came back and after they got done questioning us, they're like, ‘Uh, have you heard of swatting?’”

Swatting is a prank involving tricking emergency dispatchers into sending a police SWAT response to another person's address.

A December 2017 case in Wichita, Kansas, resulted in a 25-year-old father being shot and killed by police.

“It’s actually a scary situation,” the swatting victim told FOX40.

The victim said she never thought it would happen to her but she was glad things did not escalate into something worse.

“All I knew is I was barefoot, in my pajamas, with my glasses not on, in a hair bun, out in the middle of my neighborhood thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to be the talk of the neighborhood now,’” she said.

Sacramento police said detectives are now investigating who made the initial call. Depending on what was said during the call, that person could be charged with a felony.

The call came just hours after authorities resolved a separate standoff at a North Sacramento home near Grand Avenue and Belden Street.

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