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Cops swarm Myrtle Beach home after shooting reports, but it was a prank call

Heavy police presence at house in Myrtle Beach

Multiple law enforcement vehicles have surrounded a house on Green Bay Trail right off 44th Avenue in Myrtle Beach on Monday night.
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Multiple law enforcement vehicles have surrounded a house on Green Bay Trail right off 44th Avenue in Myrtle Beach on Monday night.

Police say it was a hoax call that led dozens of officers to descend on a Myrtle Beach home on Monday night.

Myrtle Beach police Cpl. Thomas Vest said the call to police was intended to draw a significant law enforcement response. The practice is sometimes called “swatting.”

Around 7 p.m., officers responded to a Green Bay Trail residence for a reported shooting. One of the people listed on the police report as being a person involved in the incident, Michael Champagne, posted on Facebook that someone called 911 claiming that someone shot and killed their wife.

There also were initial reports of a standoff, according to police radio traffic.

The first officer arrived on scene and could see into the home, but no weapons were visible, according to an incident report. Authorities stayed outside the home until the people inside exited.

More than a dozen police and fire vehicle responded to the area and authorities blocked off 44th Avenue North leading to Green Bay Trail.

Around 400 swatting cases happen each year and the consequences can be deadly.

About an hour after the incident, Vest said police accounted for all of the people in the home. There was no shooting or injuries, he said.

Police are working to identify the source of the call.

“This was a prank trying to get someone shot,” Champagne wrote on Facebook.

Members of the household in question declined to speak to The Sun News about the incident on Tuesday.

In other parts of the country, “swatting” has had deadly consequences. In 2017 in Wichita, Kansas, a 28-year-old died after being shot by police who were responding to his home after a report of a homicide and hostage situation. Officers say Andrew Finch didn’t comply with commands when cops told him to keep his hands raised.

A California man pleaded guilty in federal court in November for placing the phone call that led police to Finch’s home.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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