May 3—WILLIMANTIC — The Willimantic Police Department is looking for an individual responsible for a " swatting" incident Saturday evening that required a serious response for what was a hoax.
According to a release issued Sunday, the department received a call on Saturday at approximately 10: 30 p. m. through the normal complaint line of a possible murder- suicide in progress at a multi- family residence within the city.
Willimantic police Lt. Charles Miller said this morning the incident occurred on South Street.
According to the release, the caller, who identified himself as a juvenile male that lived in the residence, informed police he was tired of being beat up by his father.
The caller then went on to state he had a firearm, was planning on killing his parents, then killing himself. The caller then hung up, the release said.
The surrounding streets were closed down and the Willimantic Special Operations Group responded.
A reverse 911 call was placed to the surrounding neighborhood to shelter in place, and neighbors that were directly adjacent to the residence were evacuated for their safety.
Numerous attempts were made by police personnel to make contact with the caller and other people within the residence via phone but were unsuccessful.
Contact was finally made with the upstairs residents, who evacuated the residence safely.
After speaking with them, it was learned no one lives at the residence matching the stated identity of the caller, the release said.
The resident of the downstairs apartment then arrived on scene from another location and stated
'SWATTING,' Page 4
The caller said he had a firearm, was planning on killing his parents, then killing himself.
âSwattingâ incident under investigation
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no one else should be in their residence.
The resident then allowed police personnel to search their apartment, which was swept systematically with no one located inside.
Upon speaking to the resident, they stated they did not know the caller and did not have any clue why the caller chose their apartment.
According to the release, once the residence was deemed safe, all neighbors were allowed to return to their houses.
" The Willimantic Police Department is now treating this incident as a ' swatting,' an extremely dangerous action that has the potential to create extreme danger for both the public and the police," the release read.
Miller said the term " swatting" typically refers to a response from a police department's special weapons and tactics team.
" They know that in these situations we're not going to just send an officer there and knock on the door," Miller said. " We're going to take everything seriously and make sure all the surrounding neighborhoods are safe."
According to Miller, the department is launching a full investigation this morning.
" We'll be starting a full investigation this morning into the phone numbers that were used," Miller said.
Police said once the perpetrator is located, they will be charged to the full extent of the law.
Miller said the department is also working to research what type of crime swatting is and what consequences may occur.
" It all depends on what ends up being found in the investigation," Miller said.
" We're just happy that nobody got hurt and everybody went home safe that night," Miller said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Willimantic police Lt. Charles Miller at 860-465-3141.
Follow Claire Galvin on Twitter — @CGalvinTC.