Just before 11 a.m. Friday morning Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers responded to an apparently false report of a shooter on the 200 block of A Street NE.
Officers responded, closing the area and creating a command center nearby out of what was described as “an abundance of caution”.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, MPD Assistant Chief of Homeland Security Jeffery Carroll said that there was a 911 call made “to elicit a police response” to a residence with commercial connections on the 200 block of A Street NE. The response included both MPD and USCP as the property is located close to the Supreme Court and Capitol Buildings, Carroll said.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 8, 2022
Carroll said members of MPD and the USCP entered a residence on A Street NE to verify that everyone was safe, adding that the people inside the home were more than happy to cooperate.
NEWS: @kate_santaliz just spotted MPD speaking to Steve Bannon, who says the “police were terrific”. The false police report to respond appears to have been to his house.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 8, 2022
The incident appears to be an act of “swatting”, or lying to bring emergency or police services upon an individual or location. Knowingly placing a false emergency call is a criminal offense in DC, punishable by a fine and or jail time.
Brian Knappenberger’s six-part Netflix docu-series Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet explores this type of crime. Police said there would be an investigation into the placement of the false 911 call.
As of 12:30 p.m., all impacted road and sidewalk closures around the area have reopened. MPD emphasized that there is no indication of any threat to public safety at this time.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at [email protected]
With additional reporting from Elizabeth O’Gorek.