Bates County Sheriff’s Office investigating simultaneous swatting calls

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BUTLER, Mo. — The Bates County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two swatting calls that happened over the weekend.

The first call came in around 11:50 p.m. on May 2, 2021. A Facebook post from the Sheriff’s Office said the caller sounded like a juvenile. He said his father shot and killed his mother and was still shooting a rifle in the house. The caller said he was hiding and his father was trying to find him.

Officers from four police departments, the Bates County Sheriffs’ Office, and troopers from the Missouri Highway Patrol responded to the Butler, Missouri, address the caller provided.

Negotiators arrived and used a loud speaker to call out the occupants of the house. A short time later, an older woman came to the door. Investigators said she was confused about what was happening, but allowed officers to search the home. They didn’t find any evidence of gunfire or a crime.

As officers were checking out the first call, they received another call from someone who reported hearing a gunshot near his home.

Officers went to that area, but didn’t find any evidence of gunfire, either.

Dispatchers and officers later determined that the first call came from the Pasadena, California, area. The second call is also believed to be a swatting call.

Swatting calls are when someone uses a computer program to hide their identity. They call a police department with an emergency and hope officers with flood the area. Other swatting calls have ended with innocent people killed.

“These type of incidents are dangerous and completely unacceptable. The resources that were utilized and manpower directed away from other duties/calls for service can and do often get people hurt or killed,” Sheriff Anderson said.

The Sheriff’s office is working with police to locate the caller. If they can identify the caller, they plan to pursue charges no matter what state they called from. They’ve also asked for federal help tracking down the caller.

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