LEWISVILLE, TEXAS – A gun battle on a video game turned into guns drawn in a Lewisville neighborhood Monday.
A family had to face down a police swat team for what police say was a hoax, delivered through a video game system.
The incident happened just after 5 p.m. Monday.
The teenage boy, whose parents asked he not be named, was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. He had joined friends playing online on the Xbox 360.
In the game, players can talk to each other using headsets. In between games, in a chatroom, the boy said a voice suddenly chimed in that he says he didn’t recognize. “Some dude just popped out of nowhere, and basically said he’s going to hack me, he’s going to get my information, call the swat team over to my front yard.”
The teen ignored it, and kept playing.
About 20 minutes later, Lewisville received a call from an operator with the AT&T Instant Message Relay Service. The system is designed to allow hearing impaired users to reach someone with a standard telephone. The operator said they had received a message that a person was shot and that someone was still inside the house shooting.
The first responding officers saw no signs of shooting at the home. The video game was still on when police surrounded the house, with the entire family inside.
The teen said it was his parents who first noticed men outside with real guns, and someone with a bull horn, calling his name.
“We were all scared, out of our minds,” he said. “Didn’t understand why they were here. We thought there was some stranger some dude running around our house, hiding behind the boat. We didn’t know. We didn’t expect nothing.”
Captain Kevin Deaver with Lewisville Police said they started calling the family out because there were no signs of shooting. “At one point they did come out of the residence but then went back in the residence, which did cause us some alarm,” he said.
What officers had seen was the boys father, pulling his wife back inside to keep her safe. The family hid in a bedroom, and the boy’s mother called 9-1-1 herself. The operator connected her to police who convinced the mother, father, three children and grandparents to come out.
The teen said he has no idea who would want to pull the dangerous prank.
Police are investigating the crime as a false report or false alarm. They are working on a subpoena to try to get the information for the gamer who made the story up.