STOUGHTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Law enforcement officials say a reported armed home invasion in Stoughton that drew a massive police response was a “swatting” incident.
After receiving a report of five men with machine guns in a home on Pearl Street around 10 a.m. Friday, local and regional police shut down a section of road, evacuated surrounding residents and ordered the lockdown of a nearby school while the investigation unfolded, a police official said.
“In light of officer Gannon’s death, we thought this was an appropriate reaction to such a dangerous call,” Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara said.
After a heavily armed SWAT team taking cover behind a tactical vehicle approached and cleared the multi-unit home, police officials determined the call was a “swatting” incident — where someone places a fake report in the hopes of prompting a largescale law enforcement response.
Neighborhood resident Kim Keller was among those who were ordered to evacuate.
“The Stoughton police came knocking on the door to tell us that we had to get out of the house,” Keller said. “They had guns and they wanted us out.”
Almost three hours later, residents said they learned the incident was prompted by an identity theft hoax.
“The downstairs neighbor said they used her number to tell the police that there was a hostage in one of the rooms,” Stephen Nordgren said. “It wasn’t true. It was a big hoax.”
Police said a resident of the home recently had her identity stolen and her phone number was used to make the fake emergency call. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
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