Southridge HS Gun Hoax Latest Example of “Swatting”
A bit more information has come out about the weapons hoax at Southridge High school from last Friday.
Threat likely stems from what officials call "swatting"
We reported shortly after 12 Noon Southridge and nearby Chinook Middle School and Sagecrest Elementary were locked down because of a weapons threat at the high school.
A wide variety of officers from Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Benton, and Franklin County, and even some area Federal agents swarmed to the school.
After a room-by-room search, no weapon or any suspected shooter was found. We have now learned the threat call came in via 9-1-1 and there was a description of the alleged shooter and the weapon, as well as their location.
Authorities now say it appears this was the latest in a series of incidents involving "swatting." Several other school districts in WA and some in Montana received very similar threats, but no weapons or suspects were found.
Swatting originated in the online gaming community, where people would get information from another gamer online, then notify police that the person was a threat. It's done just to 'prank' someone, although it's far from being a prank.
But now the practice has seemed to expand to include threats to schools. It is a federal crime, and business insider.com says recently a man was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for doing it.
While it's much easier to identify and apprehend online swatters in the 'gaming' sense, this kind of swatting involving schools and larger areas is more difficult.
The investigation into this SHS incident continues.
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