Police surround Cedar Rapids house after fake murder swatting call

Photo KCRG-TV 9

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Police are investigating a case of swatting in Cedar Rapids.

Officers surrounded a house on Wolf River Lane late Monday night after they got a 911 call about 11:30 p.m. reporting that someone was shot, possibly murdered in the house, and the killer was barricaded inside - but it wasn't true.

Former FBI Special Agent Kevin Kolbye tells KCRG-TV 9 that swatting callers use disguised phone numbers, and often have never met the victims they're swatting.

"A lot of times it is done in revenge, retaliation, or just as a prank to someone that they met online and they'll call a SWAT incident at that time," Kolybe said.

Cedar Falls Police are also investigating a case of swatting from last week. They say someone reported that a person was shot inside a home and that the shooter would attack any officer who approached the home.

Like in the case of Cedar Rapids, police in Cedar Falls said they are still working to find out who is the responsible party.

"On a local perspective, we don't always have the expertise to be identifying individuals that are using that type of technology and a lot of times it takes the federal law enforcement to become aware of that and to actually use the tools and skill that they have," Kolbye said.

Often the FBI is called in to help with the investigations.

Photo from KCRG-TV shows Eastern Iowa police tactical officers (SWAT) training in Iowa City last week.

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