Police respond to 'swatting' incident

- Winter Springs police arrived to a home on Wednesday, prepared for the worst after receiving an urgent 911 call, but it turned out to be a terrible prank.

"I just shot my son," the caller told the dispatcher. 

When officers arrived, no one answered the door.  Luckily, Police Chief Kevin Brunelle said they already had the homeowners cell phone number.  

"We had responded to this house last year," said Brunelle. "Same exact date as today, and the calls were about 27 minutes apart."

The chief said it wasn't the homeowners fault.  Someone was playing a dangerous prank.  

"Swatting is where somebody calls.  They're playing a game. They think it's funny," Brunelle explained.  

But it isn't funny to the homeowner or their neighbors.  

"Police officer that was well-armed, asked us if we heard gunshots this morning. Told him we did not, and he asked us to stay in the house," said neighbor Brian Buholtz.

Buholtz said it's frustrating to have this happen a second time in as many years.  As for the people who live in the house that was targeted?

"They're just frustrated that everybody else in the neighborhood is impacted. They feel bad for everybody else," Buholtz added. 

Chief Brunelle said swatting can be dangerous and that an officer responding to an incident might be needed someplace else, where lives are at risk.

"They have no decently towards human life, then they're going to tie up that many police officers."

Brunelle is asking for help in identifying the suspect from his voice.  

"If any cop comes near me I'll shot them or my friends will."

Chief Brunelle said, "We will actively search for that individual. We have some leads."

If you have any information on the caller, contact the Winter Springs Police Department.

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