EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — East Lyme police arrested a 15-year-old boy from Pennsylvania for falsely reporting an active shooter situation back in August.
The incident took place on August 23, when East Lyme police received a 911 call from a teenage boy claiming to be trapped in an active shooting situation. He told police his brother was the shooter, that his father was shot dead, and that he and his mother were hiding.
The boy told police he and his mother were being hunted by his brother, who intended to harm them.
Officers immediately responded to the situation, gathering a large-scale response team with East Lyme police and the Flanders Fire Department. The emergency crews circled in on a condominium complex, which they believed to be the scene of the shooting.
Even at the scene, the teen stayed on the phone with police for almost 11 minutes, describing in detail the events of a horrific shooting. Police quickly established a perimeter around the building and evacuated other residents to safety.
Once the residents were evacuated and the call was disconnected, police made entry into the building. But they found that no one was there.
East Lyme officers quickly realized this was a “Swatting” incident, in which someone fakes an emergency to elicit an extreme response from police and emergency forces.
Investigators spent months looking into this case and gathering evidence. During this process, they realized the prank caller was from Pennsylvania and had used a phone app to generate a fake number when calling 911. They also discovered the teen was involved in online chat rooms promoting calls to businesses across the country.
From there and with the help of Pennsylvania authorities, officers were able to identify the teen.
On Tuesday, officers were able to arrest the 15-year-old who is suspected of making the fake call. He has been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the first degree, misusage of the emergency 911 system, disorderly conduct, conspiracy to commit false reports of an incident, and conspiracy to commit misuse of the 911 system.