Joint Investigation Results in Search of Colorado Residence Identified as Source of Swatting Threats, Including One That Recently Led to Closure of High School in Corona, California
Colorado Springs—A teenager from Colorado has been identified as the individual responsible for allegedly making numerous swatting-style threats, including one that led to the closure of a high school in Corona, California earlier this month, investigators with various agencies in California and Colorado announced today.
A federal search warrant was served by FBI agents and officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department Tuesday at a residence believed to be the source of a series of swatting incidents in recent weeks.
“Swatting” is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual (or group) who knowingly provides false information to police suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units. Making false threats drains law enforcement resources and can cause significant distress or physical injury to first responders, victims, and their families.
On September 8 and 9, 2015 a caller using an alias placed two phone calls to the Corona Police Department (CPD) stating he had placed explosives on the campus of Centennial High School located in Corona, California.
The CPD, the Corona Fire Department, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to Centennial High School and found no bombs or bomb-making materials; however, the Corona Unified School District cancelled classes for the remainder of the day as a precaution.
A joint investigation between the CPD and the FBI led investigators to a suspect linked to the Centennial High School swatting calls, as well as similar swatting calls made to high schools in Las Vegas, Nevada. Investigators eventually traced the suspect to a residence in Colorado Springs.
The suspect, who will not be identified because he is under 18 years of age, was taken into custody by local officials in El Paso County, Colorado. Authorities with the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office are reviewing the case and will determine whether criminal charges are appropriate.
This investigation is the result of a joint effort by the Corona Police Department; Colorado Springs Police Department; Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office; Clark County School District Police Department; Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; El Paso County Sheriff’s Department; and agents with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Los Angeles Field Office and the FBI’s Denver Field Office.