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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – The family of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student turned activist David Hogg was the victim of a “swatting” incident Tuesday morning.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is investigating a hoax emergency call that sent SWAT to the home of the Parkland teen activist.
Although BSO is not calling the incident a “swatting” call, it fits the description.
Swatting is where a prank call is made to emergency services in “an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers or a SWAT team to a particular address.”
In this case, a SWAT team responded to his home in the Heron Bay community just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday of a barricaded subject at Hogg’s residence and that someone may have been stabbed.
The caller also said there was a person with an assault rifle inside of the home. The call was later determined to be a hoax.
Two nearby elementary schools were temporarily placed on code yellow lockdowns but were lifted when it was all determined to be a hoax.
Nobody was home at the time. Hogg and his family were in Washington D.C to accept the Robert F. Kennedy Humanitarian Award, along with his fellow March for Our Lives organizers.
“This is a serious attempt of people try to distract us from what we are trying to do here which is solve the gun violence epidemic and get youth out to vote. Just getting morally just leaders elected, not Democrats, not Republicans, but actual Americans and morally just people that will work to solve this issue when our current politicians haven’t. That’s all this is, it’s a silly prank that’s an attempted distraction from what we are doing to here and that is to save children’s lives,” Hogg told CBS4’s Joan Murray by phone.
“Do you have any idea who would have done this,” she asked.
“No clue,” he replied, “No one was home.”
March for Our Lives was one of four youth-led organizations that received this year’s RFK Human Rights award.
Just Monday Hogg and the March For Our Lives activists announced the ‘road to change,’ a two month bus tour around the nation to register young voters.
Hogg has been targeted for openly criticizing the National Rifle Association and he recently organized a ‘die-in’ protest at Publix Supermarkets for the chain donating money to Gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, an unabashed NRA supporter.
After the ruckus at Hogg’s home, the brother of Stoneman Douglas victim Meadow Pollack took to Twitter, writing “Find out who it is, and lock him up,” speaking about the incident.
Swatting is usually done by computer hackers, gamers or people skilled in online and smartphone communications as a prank. They make a false report of a serious crime in progress, resulting in police making a major show of force on innocent, unsuspecting people.
Swatting has been around since the early 2000s. Celebrities are often the victim.
In California alone, swatting calls have targeted the homes of actor Tom Cruise, comedian Russell Brand, Kim Kardashian and singers Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.
Hogg, who survived the February 14 attack at the Parkland school where 17 students and faculty were killed in minutes, has been a vocal proponent of tougher gun laws. For that, he’s been relentlessly attacked, with conspiracy theorists claiming he wasn’t actually at the shooting or that he’s a paid “crisis actor.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Tuesday incident.