LITTLETON – Littleton Police have asked for the help of the FBI in an effort to find the prankster who triggered a massive police and SWAT response to a Littleton office building Wednesday.
The caller used a practice known as "swatting" when he called 911 at around 11:30 a.m. claiming to have killed co-workers inside a building near Mineral and Broadway. He also claimed to have set bombs inside.
In reality, Littleton Police now believe the caller was trying to set up a popular online gamer known as "Kootra," who was broadcasting live on the website twitch.tv. Video obtained by 9Wants to Know shows Kootra inside an office when Littleton Police officers came into the room well-armed.
Kootra and a co-worker were briefly detained as police tried to figure everything out.
The massive SWAT and police response triggered school lock-ins in the area. Littleton Academy was placed on a secure permieter, and Arapahoe High School and Powell Middle School were placed on a lock-in situation -- precautions that were lifted once police realized there wasn't a threat.
Littleton Police Chief Doug Stephens said Littleton Police had to show up with a massive response.
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"The caller stated he had shot multiple people," he said.
In the end, he added, it didn't take his officers too long to realize something else was afoot.
"We did not find any indication that a shooting had occurred. We have no victims of any gunshots; no crime scene that we've been able to identify," he said.
"There was a lot of commotion," said Rich Kindler, who works nearby. "We really didn't know what was going on."
Swatting is illegal and can subject the caller to federal prosecution.
The City of Littleton released the following statement about the incident:
Littleton Police Detectives are investigating the origin of the 911 call received this morning regarding the reported shooting at 1221 West Mineral Avenue. The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them. He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well. There were no victims or any evidence that a shooting had taken place.
Law enforcement in the South Metro Area and throughout the country are all too familiar with active shooter situations. In the wake of these incidents, Littleton Police and other law enforcement agencies train for rapid response to quickly rescue victims and neutralize the situation.
Fortunately there were no injuries today, but a massive law enforcement response wastes resources and greatly increases the chances of innocent people being injured or killed.
If the investigation determines that today's incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.