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Monday, May 3, 2021

Swatting incident last night in Butler

At approximately 11:50pm on 5/3/2021 the Bates County Sheriffs Office received a call from what appeared to be a juvenile stating that his father was actively shooting a rifle in the house. 

He stated that his mother was shot and was deceased in the house. The caller stated that he was currently hiding in the house from his father. The caller gave a specific address on South Olive street in Butler.
 
This type of call automatically initiates an all officer call out. Members of the Butler Police Department,Bates County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol from Bates and Cass, Rich Hill Police Department, and Adrian Police Department converged on that address given. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was notified with a request for assistance from them for an additional tactical team. Multiple ambulances and fire department units were staged in the immediate area to assist in rescue plans or injuries.
 
The caller disconnected after stating his father was in the basement and was about to come out and find him.
 
Officers on scene sat up a containment perimeter at the address given by the caller. It’s important to note that there was no sounds of an active shooter at the residence when officers arrived. Negotiators began to call out the occupants of the house. A short time after communications on the loud speaker started an elderly female came to the door. Deputies made contact with the female and advised her of the reported call at her residence. She gave deputies permission to search her residence which reveal no such type of incident at the residence.
 
The female was very startled and confused. Law enforcement made sure she was ok prior to leaving to check other areas to make sure there wasn’t a mistake between the north and south address. Meanwhile both dispatches continued to attempt to determine the origination of the call.
 
It was determined that the call was made using a internet software program to hide the identity and location of the caller. It was determined that the call may have come from the Pasadena California area.
 
This type of call is not common to our community but is often known as “swatting”. Swatting is where someone calls a police department with a horrific type of call that would activate a SWAT team response. There have been several incidents across the country that has resulted in Law Enforcement killing or injurying innocent occupants during these type of calls.

At the same time Law Enforcement was clearing the original call they received another call by a resident on West Lee Street who stated he just heard a gun shot east of his residence. Officers responded to that area but found nothing. Called out officers remained in the Butler area for several hours before being released.
 
“These type of incidents are dangerous and completely unacceptable. The resources that were utilized and manpower directed away from other duties/calls for service can and do often get people hurt or killed.” Says Sheriff Anderson. “We are working with the Chief of Police to attempt to located the source of the call. If we can identify the caller we plan to pursue charges no matter what state they are from. We will also reach out to our Federal Law Enforcement partners to ask for assistance in this case. Chief Wheatley and I want to Thank all the agencies that responded or was in the process of responding. 

This is another situation where keeping positive relationships among agencies within the county and outside the county benefit all of our citizens. Everyone of those first responders were willing to put their life second to one of our citizens. In today’s world that is becoming harder to find.”