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Hoax phone call leads to SWAT Team response at Sebastian home, police say

'This is a swatting call that we will be investigating,' police spokesman says
Posted at 10:34 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:37:40-04

SEBASTIAN, Fla. — Multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed a Sebastian neighborhood on Wednesday morning for what ended up being a hoax.

Lt. Timothy Wood with the Sebastian Police Department said a call came in around 8 a.m. about a man who had shot his mother five times at a home in the 800 block of Gilbert Street.

Sebastian police, Indian River County deputies, and a SWAT Team quickly responded to the scene.

"They were able to make contact inside the residence, cleared the residence, and determined there was no one deceased inside," Wood said.

Officials said this turned out to be a "swatting" call in which someone contacts law enforcement about a fake incident in order to get officers to respond.

"A lot of time, money, and resources were put into this call that ended up being, essentially, a hoax," Wood said. "A lot of our resources are now located in one general area. So if we were to have a legitimate emergency, we are now going to have to reach outside. There may be a longer time as far as response time goes."

Wood said three adults were removed from the home, but they were not involved in the swatting call.

"They were a little bit surprised at everything that was going on outside," Wood said. "No one inside the home is related to this incident at all. They have no idea why it's happening."

Wood said police are investigating who made the swatting call.

If you have any information that can help detectives, call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477.