Grandview man charged with making 2017 swatting call in Overland Park

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Nearly a year later, police have arrested a man they say falsely reported an active shooter in Overland Park.

It happened in November 2017 at the One Stop Decorating Center near 135th Street and Metcalf. The false report and resulting panic sent schools and businesses nearby into lockdown.

On Tuesday, Morayonla Sholaja, of Grandview, was booked into the Johnson County Jail with a $50,000 bond and charged with making a false report.

Morayonla Sholaja

The fake report last year was a scary moment for employees who said they're relieved by the arrest and charges.

Pickelman's manager Brittany Jackson has vivid memories of her work day on Nov. 7, 2017, the day Sholaja allegedly made the 911 call about an active shooter.

"I just remember seeing a lot of cops that pulled into our parking lot," Jackson said. "They all kind of hopped out with tons of rifles already drawn, just kind of running around the parking lot looking for something. At that time we don`t know what. They came into our facility at Pickelman's and just kind of searched around and left."

They didn't find anything because there was never an active shooter to begin with.

"I`m happy that they did catch him. I`m happy that he`s finally been caught," Jackson said of the charges against Sholaja.

Overland Park Police can't talk about the details of the case, but they knew something was up when everything happened a year ago.

"We only received one phone call," Overland Park Police spokesman John Lacy said.

Had it been a real active shooter, Lacy said they would have received a lot more than one call. But they had to do their due diligence and protect the public.

"It is a waste of resources," Lacy said. "On that day, we had a total of over four agencies, and at the same time more than 13 officers from Overland Park were out on the scene."

Lacy said this year, Overland Park Police received about four swatting calls, fitting in with recent patterns.

"We`ve started seeing an increase in swatting calls in the last 5-8 years," he said.

Police and civilians want that number to go down so they feel more at ease.

"(It's) scary because you never know when it`s real and when it`s not," Jackson said.

Sholaja will have his first court appearance Oct. 18.



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