Overland Park police say report of shooting near W. 131st and Melrose was a hoax

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Police say a reported shooting Monday morning turned out to be a hoax.

It may be the latest example of swatting: false reports of terrible crimes designed to put innocent lives in danger.

Police say the call could have ended in tragedy.

Just after 8:30 a.m police say a man called 911 and told dispatchers he shot a relative inside a home near 131st and Melrose streets.

The caller also threatened to shoot police officers if they came inside the house.

Officers rushed to the scene and set up a perimeter while trying to contact the alleged shooter.

Because of a reported shooting victim, there was some urgency to get inside and help that person.

But police also are wary about swatting, false reporting that's becoming common across the nation, which can result in deadly mistakes by police.

After taking time to contact a man and his two sons inside the house, police quickly determined the call was a hoax.

"With these swatting calls we are always going to be careful when it comes to people calling 911 saying that they shot a loved one, things of that sort," said John Lacy of the Overland Park police. "We are going to try to start a dialogue, but at the same time officers, we want to get inside. We want to be able to help someone. When we have these type of calls it makes law enforcement, our job even more difficult."

Police say the adult inside the home denies that either he or his sons called 911. Lacy says the man was pretty upset that his home had been targeted. He declined to speak with reporters.

Police say they will vigorously investigate who made the 911 call, and if they can identify that person, criminal charges of filing a false police report are expected.

Just last month a Los Angeles man was arrested after he allegedly made a hoax emergency call that led to the deadly police shooting of a Kansas man.

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