HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Police responded to a shooting call at Glenview Apartments on Redstone Road South Tuesday night.
According to police, at 8:59 p.m. they arrived at the apartment where the shooting was said to have happened. When officers went to the door a man opened the door but then closed it in the officer's face and refused to come out of the apartment.
After the man's refusal, police issued the situation as a standoff. After declaring a standoff, all police in the surrounding area, including HEMSI and Huntsville Fire and Rescue, were called in.
Neighbors were evacuated from their apartment and people are not allowed to go into the complex.
"I heard a knock at the door and when I answered it, it was a policeman with a shotgun," said Jennifer Leitch. "I've never seen so many cops running around with their rifles and shotguns out."
SWAT then responded to help police with the situation.
"We thought there might have been an active shooter running around," said Leitch.
Police later on found out that the man who came to the door had no idea what was going on.
"Someone had managed to get his address and call in a fake call," said Lt. Stacy Bates with the Huntsville Police Department.
After an hour and a half, police ended the standoff and declared the situation a hoax.
"It requires us to shift our manpower to those locations make sure those areas are safe. so we're having to pull guys from patrol so it's thinning out our patrol presence across certain parts of town of where it happened," said Bates.
According to the FBI, police were dealing with something called, "swatting" where someone makes a fake call to police using a fake number to lure them and the SWAT team to the fake victim.
"The person responsible can face criminal charges," said Lt. Bates.
The FBI says these calls are typically pranks but police say these pranks take away from keeping the city safe.
And even though the entire thing was a hoax, Leitch, said it's still frightening to know it could someday happen.
"It's kind of scary to know that could have happened at least," explained Leitch.
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