A Facebook executive was the target of a swatting hoax that resulted in armed police briefly detaining him and searching his home as they investigated a false report of an active shooting and hostage situation involving pipe bombs, Palo Alto, California, Police Department officials said.
The incident started a little after 9pm on Tuesday when someone using an untraceable number identified himself as a Facebook executive and reported he had shot his wife and taken his children hostage, department officials reported in a statement. The male caller went on to say he had deployed pipe bombs and planned to harm police if they came to the residence.
The call resulted in a “significant police response” that included trained crisis negotiators. They used a public address system to contact the people inside the home. Two residents came outside as police searched the residence. Police ultimately determined that no shots had been fired, no pipe bombs had been deployed, and no children were in the house.