HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Multiple police units were called to a Huntsville subdivision Tuesday night in what was ultimately ruled to be a hoax.
Calls first went out for emergency response around 6:30 p.m. to a home on Lake Forest Boulevard. Road blocks were put up at the scene and residents were not allowed to leave or enter the area during the incident.
The caller told dispatchers multiple people had been shot and someone had barricaded themselves inside a home. Police confirmed later in the evening that the call was a hoax.
"The owner came out; we were able to go into the house and verify that everyone was okay and it was all some cruel hoax," said Sergeant James Giddy.
Neighbors in the subdivision spent anxious moments Tuesday night worrying about what was going on. One man was unable to pick up his sons from basketball practice when the blockade went into effect.
The man whose home was surrounded said he owns a business in internet security and that someone in Michigan was trying to extort him. "This kid up in Michigan called in a report of several murders on the property, and so the police acted accordingly," said Phil Lamm.
Police said this was the first episode they have seen locally of "swatting," tricking emergency responders into rushing to a home. It's a stunt that has happened numerous times at celebrity homes in places like Hollywood.
Phil said when he saw so many police cars at his home, he and his son quickly knew what had happened. "I do internet security and that makes me a target, a challenge," Lamm's son Ammar said. "I know exactly who they are."
Police, however, remain cautious in their investigation. They said whoever is responsible will face serious charges.
"We're trying to ascertain exactly what charge to go with. Investigators are working on that right now. We're still trying to ascertain exactly where it came from. We'll eventually find out," said Sgt. Giddy.
Security officials said they would stand on guard in the area through the overnight hours to ensure everything is okay in this shaken neighborhood.
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