Weekly Feature

2018-09-13 / Front Page

EAPD releases details in swatting incident


The East Aurora Police Department is releasing new details on a swatting incident that shut down a portion of the village earlier this month.

Authorities say they received an anonymous call about a potential hostage situation at a Main Street apartment just before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1. The caller said he had stabbed and killed his girlfriend and threatened to kill his girlfriend’s kids, who he claimed were also in the apartment.

Officers said as they arrived on the scene, a second call was made by the unknown man, demanding that officers back away from the apartment building or he would start shooting at them. Officers made a decision to close all roads leading to the intersection of Main Street and Olean Road and set up a command post near the Hampton Inn on Olean Road.

A number of law enforcement groups were called in, including the West Seneca Police Department, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police and the Orchard Park S.W.A.T team, which first entered the building. Authorities said upon entering the building, they discovered no one was inside. The owner of the building said the apartment was being used for storage for a downstairs building.

Officers said they determined the call was part of a swatting situation, where a person hides his or her identity and calls law enforcement to report a false, violent crime in an effort to target a specific location. According to East Aurora Police Chief Shane Krieger, officers were unable to trace the call because the person called from a blocked number

“In the past when we’ve had a swatting incident, [the call was] computer-generated through some sort of system that appeared it was coming from that address,” he said. “Now in this case it was seven digits, so we were thinking it was someone on a regular phone calling us with a blocked number, but we haven’t had much luck finding anything out there.”

He said while it’s unfortunate the incident occurred, there are some positives that came from it.

“In hindsight, it was a good learning experience and training event,” he said, adding that he was thankful it didn’t happen during the Taste of East Aurora.

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