ROCHESTER, Minn. — Two Rochester men were victims of a swatting incident after someone reported a shooting had taken place at their residence.
Swatting is an incident in which someone places a fake call to 911, claiming a serious incident has or is occurring that would warrant a large police response. The calls typically bring a large police response to another person's address and can sometimes prove fatal.
Rochester police received a call about 5:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, from a person claiming that he just shot his ex-wife and still had the gun in his hand, according to Capt. Casey Moilanen. The man then told dispatchers that he wanted to kill himself and his daughter, who was hiding in the house. The man gave an address in the 5100 block of Duvall Place Northwest as well as giving the name of one of the residents as his own.
Rochester police officers, as well as members of the Minnesota State Patrol and the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office responded to the address. When law enforcement arrived, they could see someone at a kitchen table writing something. Believing they could get in the home before the man could hurt anyone else, officers used a battering ram to enter the home with guns drawn, Moilanen said.
Officers determined that not only was no one inside the home a gunshot victim, but there wasn't a woman in the residence either. Moilanen said the homeowner and another person had no idea what was going on and were "obviously afraid."
The incident is under investigation. Cases of swatting are often difficult to track down as the caller typically masks their phone number when calling emergency responders.