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Maplewood Police Investigates Fake Shooting Call


Maplewood Police are investigating a swatting incident at a home in the township today. 

According to Maplewood authorities, at approximately 3:40 p.m., on this date, dispatch received a call on a police department non-emergency line (NOT 911) indicating that a shooting had just occurred on Menzel Avenue. 

Authorities said the caller stated that the “father just shot my mother in the face.” 

The Dispatcher attempted to gain additional information, and the caller hung up. According to authorities, the dispatcher could not re-establish contact with the caller. 

Patrol Officers responded to the scene, surrounded the address and were able to make contact with those inside by using the vehicle public address system. 

The occupants of the home were asked to exit the house and were questioned. The family complied without resistance. 

Patrols then searched the home's interior looking for additional persons and possible victims. 

Police said that the home was cleared with no indication that anything had occurred. Authorities said a male (husband 39-years-old), a female (wife 42-years-old) and a 4-year-old daughter were home at the time. 

“The call came as a complete shock to them,” authorities said. 

Detectives are investigating this as a false report to Maplewood Police at this time. 

Authorities said a Nixle Alert was sent out to warn residents of possible danger. The alert was updated as soon it was determined to be a false report, and Patrols cleared the scene. 

Maplewood Police Director Jimmy DeVaul said the following: 

“Calls of this type are severe and dangerous. It could easily have led to resistance, escalation, a use of force incident, extreme stress and anxiety for all involved. 

I have great compassion and empathy for the residents who must have been so scared”. 

Emergency responders were dispatched and staged nearby until the scene was secure. There were no requests for medical attention made at the time by the residents. 

“I want to thank my officers for doing an absolutely outstanding job under the circumstances in the face of such danger and having the ability to de-escalate as the scene and incident details warranted,” Director DeVaul said.