‘It was scary’ - Lansing police respond to ‘swatting’ fake crime call

These types of calls have been happening across the country
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The FBI is warning municipal police departments about false shooting calls.

It’s called swatting and it’s been happening at schools across the country all week.

It also happened Thursday night at a home on Rayborn Drive, which is near Waverly and Holmes roads in Lansing. Police said someone called 911 and claimed they killed their younger sister. Most of the officers who were on duty responded to the scene.

People who live there told News 10 it is normally a quiet neighborhood. Averill Elementary is just a block away.

“It seemed like the whole squad,” said Devon Burroughs. “It was scary. It was scary.”

Burroughs has lived on Rayborn Drive his entire life. He was putting his daughter to bed at about 10 p.m. Thursday when police responded to what they thought was a shooting.

“I looked out the window and I saw somebody with a gun by a tree,” Burroughs recalled. “I was just like I don’t know what to do. Should I put my daughter to sleep or should I hide?”

Officers were there for about 15 minutes before they realized no one was shot. A 67-year-old woman was the only one in the house.

These types of calls have been happening across the country, including at least three high schools in Ohio Friday.

Lansing police said it’s dangerous to report false crimes because someone could get hurt and it takes resources away from other crimes.

“A report of a person being murdered in a house, it takes up everybody basically in the city and also pulls resources from the outside county to assist us,” said Capt. Christopher Baldwin, Lansing Police Department.

And that’s what scares Burroughs.

“Whoever did it, they don’t really think about the consequences and they’re not around to watch it, so it’s kind of scary,” said Burroughs.

People who report fake crimes could be charged with a crime themselves. That charge depends on the crime that’s being reported.

It’s hard to tell how many swatting calls are made every year. Neither the FBI nor Lansing police keeps track of them.

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