Hull Police are investigating a hoax 911 call on April Fool’s Day that resulted in a Nantasket Avenue home being surrounded by officers from five area towns in tactical gear.
At about 9:50 p.m. on Friday, April 1, a caller to the emergency line told the dispatcher that they had murdered their parents and refused to leave their home.
Hull Police Chief John Dunn said police, fire and emergency medical personnel responded, summoning mutual aid from police in Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell and Scituate. A reverse-911 call notified residents to “shelter in place” and avoid the area; Nantasket Avenue was temporarily closed.
The initial investigation revealed that the residents were inside, and police entered the home to confirm that no one was injured. After determining that the call was a hoax, police made a sweep of the area and lifted the shelter-in-place order at about 11 p.m.
In a statement, Dunn said the incident is being investigated by the Hull Police Department as an act of “swatting,” which is “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.” The phrase has been recognized as a criminal phenomenon by the FBI since at least 2008, the chief said.
Dunn said police believe the hoax call “is not believed to have originated from any persons from, or with ties to, Hull.”