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Princeton police condemn 'swatting' call that sent schools, community into lockdown

Swatting is a false reporting of a crime and is extremely dangerous.

Princeton Police Department in central Minnesota is condemning a false report that led to area schools being placed in a soft lockdown and an alert sent out to area residents. 

The incident unfolded Tuesday when police received a call at 1:13 p.m. from a man threatening violence against himself and law enforcement, with the caller claiming to be in possession of multiple weapons at a residence several blocks from the district office for Princeton Public Schools. 

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office got in contact with the man and issued a Code Red Alert to the community, then established a perimeter to keep traffic out of the area. 

Investigators later learned that the man provided a false identity and address, so the area of concern was cleared and deemed safe. 

Police are investigating the matter as a "swatting" incident, which is the false reporting and considered "incredibly dangerous and illegal," according to Princeton PD. 

Students and staff were never in any danger and no threats were made towards the school. 

Swatting turned deadly in 2017

In 2017, a man was shot and killed by a police officer in Wichita, Kansas, after a California man reported a false crime after being involved in an online video game argument. 

According to the New York Times, the suspect called police with a false identity, claiming that he killed his father, was holding two family members hostage and was contemplating suicide. 

A 28-year-old man who stepped outside when police arrived was shot and killed when he dropped his hands. The victim had no idea that a false crime had been reported. 

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