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January 14, 2014

Police in Westmoreland County seek sender of bogus 911 shooting text

GREENSBURG — Police have been trying to find whoever sent texts to a Westmoreland County 911 dispatch center, claiming that a man had an AK-47 rifle and five bodies in his home.

Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens says the incident was a hoax known as “swatting” – so named because it’s meant to prompt a SWAT or similar police response to a home.

The text was sent Jan. 7, and prompted police in Jeannette – about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh – to surround the home before finding an unsuspecting homeowner inside.

One text read, “There’s five dead now and I got more today.” Others told police the occupant of the home had the automatic rifle, a desert eagle and a grenade.

Authorities are hoping to trace the texts with the help of phone companies.

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