There's a practice online that is known as "swatting." There's a special place in the devil's Hell for people who engage in it. It's dangerous, it's reckless, and it's ended in tragedy more than once.
This time, it all has something to do with murder, PCP, and a crime that never took place in Hutchinson County.
It All Began With An Emergency Call
At 4:41 AM, Borger dispatch gets a call. The person on the line says they've just shot and killed their mother. They also mention that they're high on PCP.
This according to an incident report released by the Hutchinson County Sheriff's Office.
Officers from Fritch, Borger, and the Hutchinson County Sheriff's Office responded along with HCSO SWAT due to the nature of the call.
When Law Enforcement Arrived, They Got A Surprise
Another way of putting it would be, they didn't get a surprise...or much of anything else for that matter. According to the incident report, when they arrived they found that no shooting had occurred. They don't specifically mention it, but it's easy to gather that PCP wasn't involved either.
Buckle up. This is where it gets interesting.
Fortnite, Discord, And A Sore Loser
According to the incident report, this all started with Fortnite. If you don't know what Fortnite is, I wish you would make some room under that rock you've been living under. That industry changing video game is a global phenomenon that just won't quit.
In the course of playing the game, someone at the house angered another player online. The angry player then decided to SWAT the residence.
The incident report says that the player at the house was using Discord to communicate with the other player. The report states that an IP number was able to be traced, and that's when law enforcement was called.
Does This Mean Your Kids Are Going To Get The Cops Called To Your House?
No. This does not mean that your kids are going to get the SWAT team called to your house tonight. This person just happened to cross paths with the wrong individual on the wrong night.
There are steps we can take as parents, though, to help keep our kids safe when playing online.
Pay Attention To What Your Kids Are Doing
Keep an eye on what games they're playing. My kids know that certain games are okay to be played, and others aren't. If the game has chat settings, we turn them off.
That helps keep my kids safe, and other gamers will appreciate me keeping an 8-year-old kid off the channel.
Also, depending on the age of your kid, Discord may not be the best place for them to be hanging out. While communities there are pretty much invite only, that doesn't mean there aren't shady people lurking.
Just like on the rest of the Internet.
Best thing to do? Take an interest in the games they're playing and where they're hanging out online.