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False Shooting Report Under Investigation By Newton PD

The Newton Police Department is investigating a false shooting report. On Sunday (March 31), at approximately 8:30 P.M., an unknown man contacted the Newton Police Department Communications Center on a non-emergency line and reported that he had just shot an individual and was going to shoot others inside a residence on North Thomas Avenue. As the man was speaking to the telecommunicator, there appeared to be several gun shots being fired in the background.

Newton Police Officers were dispatched and arrived on the scene within minutes of the initial
call. Upon arrival, the officers on scene set up a perimeter and attempted to contact anyone inside the residence. Once the Officers did not receive any response from inside the home, the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office was contacted for assistance and the Special Tactics And Response (STAR) team was called out to the scene.

The STAR team negotiators were able to contact the residents who eventually came outside. The residents were unaware of the situation and had no knowledge about the call or caller. The STAR team conducted a protective sweep of the residence and did not find anything to be concerned with. This incident appears to be a hoax and there was no immediate danger to the public. The Newton Police Department will continue to investigate this incident and those responsible for making this false report of a shooting will be held accountable.

Incidents such as this are commonly referred to as “Swatting”. These types of false summoning the police and other resources can and should cause great concern. Not only is it a drain on resources, but it causes first responders to focus on the specific hoax call when they should be addressing other matters and emergencies. Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Newton Police Department at (828) 465-7430.