The home of War Room host Steve Bannon was swatted and swarmed by heavily armed police on Friday.
The caller had called a crisis hotline and falsely reported that they were in the Capitol Hill home of the former senior adviser to President Donald Trump and had shot someone.
Streets surrounding the house, which is near the Capitol and Supreme Court, were shut down for roughly an hour.
“Police initially told The Washington Post that they had encountered a person who claimed to be armed and who appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis, but they found no gun and no one injured. A D.C. police spokeswoman later said someone had called a crisis hotline and reported that a man inside the rowhouse in the 200 block of A Street NE had shot someone and had a firearm,” the Washington Post reported.
A swatting refers to someone filing a false report of a serious crime to draw law enforcement to a particular location. There has been several deaths and injuries from police shootings during the prank raids.
As Bannon re-entered his home, he told an NBC News reporter that the police had been “terrific.”
“The police were terrific,” Steve Bannon says after a massive police presence cleared his street. @DCPoliceDept just provided a briefing saying there was a false 911 call of a shooting on this block. MPD did not name Bannon’s house as a target. pic.twitter.com/VhBvGcrMi1
— Liz Brown-Kaiser (@lizbrownkaiser) July 8, 2022
The Post report states that “it was not immediately clear if Bannon was home at the time of the incident. Jeffery Carroll, an assistant D.C. police chief in charge of the homeland security bureau, said officers walked through the rowhouse and spoke with those inside to ensure it was safe.”
In 2011, California State Senator Ted Lieu introduced a bill to increase penalties for swatting. His own family home was swatted shortly after he did so.
Four years later, in 2015, swatting became a federal crime after a bipartisan bill sponsored by Democrat Rep. Katherine Clark and Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan passed through Congress.
Clark was subsequently swatted in retaliation.