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Burke Sheriff’s Office Seeking Person Or People Responsible For Calling 911 With False Claim Of Violence

Burke Sheriff’s Office Seeking Person Or People Responsible For Calling 911 With False Claim Of Violence

On Tuesday (January 4) at 1:50 p.m. the Burke County Emergency Communications Center received a call from an individual who said they had just shot their mom and dad with an AK47 at a residence on David Bryant Avenue in Morganton. The caller further stated, “I don’t know if I can take it anymore” and hung up without answering further questions. Burke County Deputies were dispatched to the residence. Deputies made contact with neighbors and family members and determined all the residents were safe.

According to a news release from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, this criminal misuse of the emergency communications 911 system is a serious, irresponsible, and selfish act against all citizens. This criminal caller creates risk for the traveling public as the emergency services of law enforcement, EMS, and other first responders are dispatched and travel to the scene as quickly as possible to render aid.

This act can also negatively impact the ability for sufficient emergency personnel to be available to respond to legitimate calls of service for children, adults and the elderly whose well-being and life may be put in jeopardy. This crime is known as “swatting”. Swatting is a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person’s address.

This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage situation, or a false report of a “mental health” emergency, such as reporting that a person is allegedly suicidal or homicidal and may or may not be armed.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance in identifying the person or people) responsible for Tuesday’s swatting incident. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500 or Morganton/Burke Crimestoppers at 828-437-3333. All Crimestoppers tips are anonymous, and anyone with information leading to an arrest may receive a cash reward.