The first received word of a possible shooting at a home on Adare Drive at around 4:37 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
The original call was received by SEECOM from an AT&T call relay center. The caller, communicating by a computer message, wrote that he was 16 years old, communicated there had been a shooting in a house on Adare Drive and reported he was hiding in an upstairs room, Cary Police Chief Steven Casstevens said in a press release late Thursday.
SEECOM dispatched the call to Cary Police and Cary Fire Rescue, which initiated a large response by the Cary Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies including the Village of Fox River Grove Police, Oakwood Hills Police, and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Response Team.
The responders established a perimeter around the home and took precautionary measures. After making contact with the real juvenile resident via cell phone - who was not in the home at the time - it was determined the call was unfounded and likely a case of “swatting.”
Officers were able to contact the adult residents at their workplaces who gave police permission to enter the home to investigate and determine it was safe.
“The danger associated with this activity often referred to as “swatting,” in which callers, or computer hackers trigger the dispatch of a large emergency response to a false incident, cannot be understated,” Casstevens said.
“These are far from prank calls. They divert valuable resources from other duties, often at considerable expense.”
Cary Police detectives are conducting interviews as the investigation remains active. Detectives have contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance and are working toward identifying possible suspects.
Cary Police request anyone with information regarding this incident contact investigators at 847-639-2341 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-762-STOP.