SASKATOON — Through an investigation that involved United States Homeland Security, a 16-year-old male from the United Kingdom has been identified as being responsible for a series of “swatting” incidents at Saskatoon schools in early April.
Saskatoon Police Service says the youth was also found to be responsible for other swatting incidents in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Swatting is a term used to describe a malicious hoax by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to police suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units — or SWAT units.
On April 8, Saskatoon Police Patrol and School Resource Officers responded to three telephone reports alleging a person was entering a Saskatoon school with a firearm. The reports resulted in an armed emergent response from police until it was determined the threats were not credible.
At approximately 12:30 p.m., police received a 911 call reporting a person with a firearm approaching an elementary school in the 200 block of Avenue S South. Patrol, school resource officers and on-duty tactical support unit officers responded to the area. At 12:36 p.m. and 1:13 p.m., police received two additional 911 calls with similar reports of threats involving elementary schools in the 200 block of 111th Street and the 3500 block of John A. Macdonald Road, respectively. Each school was placed on lockdown while police attended and cleared each room. When no threat was located, the lockdowns were lifted.
SPS General Investigation Section investigators are continuing to investigate in conjunction with partner law enforcement agencies.