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Alexandria police were targeted with a swatting call on Sunday night

Alexandria Police lights (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria Police Department was the victim of a swatting call on Sunday night (Jan. 8), after a male told a 911 dispatcher that he “accidentally” shot his brother in the chest after playing with their father’s gun.

The call was made at around 11:25 p.m. on Sunday. The caller told police that the incident occurred in an apartment in the 5400 block of Richenbacher Avenue near Holmes Run.

Four APD cruisers responded to the apartment building to find that no incident occurred. Police spent a half-hour patrolling the area and speaking with neighbors, according to the police scanner.

“This was a fake call,” Tracy Walker, the APD communications manager, told ALXnow. “We responded but did not find any evidence of an injury or shots being fired.”

Northern Virginia has gotten its fair share of swatting calls over the years. The most recent incident in Alexandria occurred last summer, when a prank caller told police that he was a 15-year-old male and was tired of his parents, was armed with his father’s AR-15 rifle and was going to kill them and himself.

Falsely summoning law enforcement is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Anyone with information on this incident call call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

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