GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – A 911 call jeopardized time, resources and people’s safety in Greensboro.
The report of a deadly shooting at a home in the Ridgewood Community on James Doak Parkway in north Greensboro ended up being a prank 911 call.
It’s something called “swatting,” a false alarm, which has happened across the country.
The same home was targeted twice for fake emergencies within days. The caller used the same name for each call.
The most recent service call to the home was on Tuesday at 5:40 a.m. for a suspicious overdose, according to Guilford Metro 911 call logs.
The caller told telecommunicators they ingested drugs, passed out and woke up tied to a bed. They said no one else was inside the home at the time.
Guilford Metro 911 Senior Supervisor Paige Cummings told FOX8 the call was fake.
“We’re all short-staffed at this point,” she said. “Any kind of fake call just adds to the taxing work we do every day.”
It came days after a much scarier swatting call using the same address.
A telecommunicator took a shooting call on Friday at 12:50 p.m., according to call logs.
Cummings said the call came in through the non-emergency line. It was identified from a Boston area code.
The caller told telecommunicators they had shot both parents in an upstairs bedroom after an argument.
“I just shot my mom and my dad in the head, and they’re not breathing,” the 911 caller said. “They found out about the shooting that I’ve been planning. They confronted me about it. We started arguing, and I shot them both.”
The caller stayed on the line for eight minutes talking with the telecommunicator. It was enough time for first responders to get to the front door.
Dozens of Guilford County deputies arrived and blocked off a section of James Doak Parkway.
Neighbors told FOX8 they spotted some sheriff’s deputies put on tactical gear, draw their weapons and surround the home.
“I’d never been in a situation literally right next to my house where you see cop cars flying down the road, their lights are on,” said Jason Hopkins, who lives on James Doak Parkway.
Deputies found nothing after an intense search of the area.
“It’s a waste of resources,” Cummings said. “It’s a waste of our time here at 911. Definitely a waste of time for law enforcement, EMS, fire, whoever is responding.”
Cummings said that technology can help cover a caller’s tracks. “It’s disappointing that someone would do that to innocent residents that live at that address.”
She was skeptical when reviewing the call.
“It sounds like a computer,” Cummings said. “Every call that comes into us, we have to treat as an emergency and not question the integrity of the caller.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said that no one was injured.
“Those policemen could’ve been used somewhere else to help stop something real,” Hopkins said.
People who report fake emergencies could be charged with misuse of 911 and ordered to pay fines or serve jail time.
“It’s nothing to play with. It’s not a game,” Cummings said. “There are real people involved. There are real people that answer your phone call 24 hours a day. There are real people that respond to these emergencies.”
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.