911 hoax activates SWAT team

WINDER -- A Barrow County SWAT team responded to a Winder home on Tuesday after a prankster called 911 to report a shooting that didn't happen, authorities said.

Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith called the hoax a waste of resources that needlessly set a neighborhood on edge. Investigators are trying to locate and criminally charge the caller, Smith said.

The phony emergency call came about 5:20 p.m., sending Barrow County Sheriff's Office deputies to secure the Kendall Park Drive house, not far from Apalachee High School.

"The caller said another person was on the scene and was threatening suicide," said Barrow County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Matt Guthas.

When initial attempts to contact anyone inside the residence were unsuccessful, the agency's SWAT team mobilized and made contact with the homeowner, who exited the house voluntarily, Guthas said.

"The house was searched and no injured persons were located inside," Guthas said. "There were neither firearms nor any evidence of a crime having taken place."

Investigators quickly determined the call was a hoax.

"We take all 911 calls very seriously, especially those alleging violence and injuries," the sheriff said in a release. "This hoax exploited county resources and caused undue alarm and inconvenience for the residents of Kendall Park (subdivision)."

An investigation to trace the source of the prank continued Wednesday.