Live-streaming video of an online gamer captured the moment heavily armed police stormed his office and detained him in Colorado on Wednesday, in the the latest instance of the online gaming prank known as “swatting”
Jordan Mathewson, who goes by the video-game moniker “Kootra,” was playing “Counter-Strike” — an online first-person shooter — in his Littleton office building when police suddenly burst into the room and, with weapons raised, ordered the gamer to get on the ground.
Mathewson’s live webcam, which was recording both his game session and a smaller live image of Mathewson himself on the center left of his screen, captured the incident.
Police entered the building and detained Mathewson in response to an “active-shooter” report.
“The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them,” the Littleton Police Department said in a Wednesday statement according to ABC7. “He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well.”
Local schools were placed on temporary lockdown and police executed a search of nearby office buildings before believing the call to be a hoax.
“There were no victims or any evidence that a shooting had taken place,” police said. “If the investigation determines that today’s incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Shortly after the video of the incident was posted online, fellow members of the gaming community declared Kootra, who is a member of a gaming group known as “The Creatures” and is something of a gaming celebrity online, had been “swatted.”
Swatting is a growing phenomena in online gaming where the loser of a virtual conflict on a highly competitive multiplayer game takes revenge on the winner by faking an emergency call regarding the winner. The call usually involves a false violent report — like a shooting — and attempts to solicit a large police response from Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams at the home of the “victim” gamer. (RELATED: Player Calls SWAT Police On Teen For Killing Him In ‘Call of Duty’)
Mathewson, who has well-over 200,000 Twitter followers, reported after the incident that he was all right.
Dag nabbit that was dern sure an experience. I am all Ok though. Thanks for all the supportive tweets everyone
— Kootra (@Kootra) August 27, 2014
According to the report police brought in a suspect for questioning, who has since been released.