Canadian teen charged in Volunteer High School ‘swatting’ hoax

An 18-year-old Canadian has been arrested for calling in a hoax that led to the evacuation of Volunteer High School almost a month ago.

Canadian authorities did not release the name of the man, who was identified as a member of the Peguis First Nation, the largest Native American community in Manitoba, Canada.

Authorities said a search warrant was conducted on the home on Aug. 30. During the search, a number of electronic items were found. He was arrested and later released with a court date set for Dec. 7, according to a press release.

Law enforcement officials said the man was “swatting,” where someone makes a phone call falsely describing a life-threatening situation in order to provoke an armed police response.

Swatting has become a problem within the social media world as some have used the practice as a way to create pranks or use as revenge tactics.

In July, a Sumner County man died of a heart attack when SWAT members showed up on his doorstep due to a “swatting” incident.

The Volunteer High School incident happened on Aug. 30, just before 8 a.m., when Hawkins County 911 received a call from someone claiming to be a student at the school. The person told dispatchers he was in the main bathroom with a gun and planned to move to another part of the school.

School administrators immediately locked down the school and numerous law enforcement agencies across the area descended on the school.

After the school was evacuated and law enforcement walked through the building, it was determined the call had been a hoax.

According to a press release, the 18-year-old man had participated in two “swatting” events in Tennessee and two in North Carolina. Authorities did not make it clear whether these were four separate incidents.

In the cases, police locked the schools down and law enforcement officers arrived with a heavy presence, according to the report.

Authorities said in the incidents the 18 year old had stated he was “going to start shooting.”

An investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office determined the initial call had come from Manitoba, Canada.

This led Tennessee authorities to seek the help of Canadian police.

Canadian authorities then determined the call came from the Native American nation.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing by the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police.