DeKalb County

Mass shooting call turns out to be ‘swatting' prank

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — A neighborhood was in panic mode after heavily armed SWAT members rushed in on reports of a mass shooting and possible active shooter – but it turned out to be a prank. Investigators are working to pin down the bogus 911 caller.

Channel 2's Tom Regan talked to neighbors on Rennes Drive in Brookhaven who had their evening turned upside down.

Dozens of police, fire and other emergency vehicles swarmed to the scene following an emergency call of explosive violence in a home.

“We saw the first 15 cars and lost count after that,” neighbor Ted Godwin said.


"An individual had called to say that he had shot his family members and was covered in blood,” said Brookhaven Police Maj. Brandon Gurley. “That obviously triggered a large law enforcement response to the area.”

Concerns mounted after police heard a gunshot when they arrived near the home.

“They quickly came through and told, get in the house go inside and get your children inside,” said neighbor Stacey Godwin.

Neighborhood remained on edge for hours not know what was going on but then police realized that they had been “swatted.”

“The call was not made from someone on the scene,” Gurley said. “It was a prank call. There was no one on the scene that shot anyone or was covered with blood.”

The gun shot police heard was from a neighbor who accidently fire his weapon while retrieving it for protection.

Police said the pranks waste resources, taxpayer money and potentially puts people in danger.

“It’s very frustrating for everyone for neighbors to be disturbed by this,” Gurley said. “It was a large waste of resources, but we're hoping to identify those who made the call and hold them responsible."