- Hays police responded to a call claiming a woman had been shot, two hostages had been taken, and a house was rigged with explosives
- Officers on the scene were able to make contact with the resident and establish it as a hoax call without incident
- Last year Kansas passed the Andrew T. Finch Memorial Act following a fatal swatting in Wichita, Kansas that happened in 2017
Police in Hays, Kansas responded to a swatting call last week that luckily ended without incident. Nearly two years ago, Wichita, Kansas received international attention after Officer Justin Rapp fatally shot Andrew Finch following a swatting call made by Tyler Barriss.
What Is A Swatting Call
Swatting is the act of calling the police on an unsuspecting victim and claiming a life-threatening situation is occurring at the victim’s residence. The goal is to get the local SWAT team to show up, or just as large of a police presence as possible. The bigger the police response, the more successful the swat.
Typically swatting is seen within in the gaming and livestreaming community. In a perfect world, the police response will happen while the person is livestreaming to their audience. While the act of swatting is by no means anything new, it is generally frowned upon by the vast majority of people online. Below is a compilation of 10 different swatting incidents that were captured in front of a live audience put together by the Spacebound YouTube channel.
One Dead, Two Hostages, And A House Rigged With Explosives
Last Tuesday, dispatch received a call that a woman had been shot at a house on the 1600 block of Elm. The caller also claimed they had taken two hostages and rigged the house with explosives. “They reported violence, reported people being in danger, we have to respond and take those very very serious,” said Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler.
After police arrived at the residence and secured the scene they made contact with the resident and were quickly able to come to the conclusion the call was a hoax. Social media users were following the situation on both the Broadcastify and the Ellis County KS Scanner Facebook page.
Based on the information available, at 7:07 pm the Ellis County KS Scanner Facebook page posted a status that read, “ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION 1607 ELM. AVOID THE AREA. LOCK YOUR DOORS AND STAY INSIDE YOUR HOUSES!”
Sixteen minutes later the post was updated to read, “UPDATE: THIS IS A CONFIRMED FALSE CALL. WE DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING FURTHER AT THIS TIME. WE APOLOGIZE IF WE GOT ANYONE SCARED OR NERVOUS. IT’S A HAZARD OF BRINGING YOU BREAKING NEWS.”
The Andrew Finch Memorial Act of 2018
Following the fatal swatting in Wichita, Kansas passed the “Andrew T. Finch Memorial Act of 2018.” The bill made the consequences of making a swatting call significantly worse than they previously were. A person behind a swatting call can now face up to five years in prison, or up to twenty years if the victim receives a serious bodily injury from the call.