Colorado 'Swatting' Incident Caught on Camera
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. - The gamer who was livestreaming when SWAT officers burst into his office in Littleton Wednesday says he knew "almost right away" that it was a prank, but it was a frightening experience nevertheless.
Someone used a landline to report an active shooter at West Mineral Avenue and Broadway, the Littleton Police Department stated Wednesday afternoon.
A 6-minute video posted on YouTube clearly shows the SWAT team ordering the man to the ground at gunpoint and searching the office.
The man in the video is Jordan Mathewson, who uses the online moniker "Kootra." Kootra is well known in the online gaming community - with more than 220,000 followers on Twitter and 700,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He is part of The Creatures, a group that makes tutorial videos and funny videos about video games.
As the video starts, Mathewson is looking over his shoulder at the office door.
"Uh oh, this isn't good," he said on the video. "They're clearing rooms. What in the world? I think we're getting swatted."
"I knew almost right away what exactly was happening," he said. "But I was still frightened you know, having some guns pointed at you isn't exactly the most common thing."
"We hadn't experienced [swatting] but we knew of people who had experienced it in the past," Mathewson said. "It's become an alarming new trend."
"Swatting" refers to a prank phone call that causes a SWAT team to respond. The intention is presumably to interrupt a business or cause other problems.
In the video, Mathewson appears to be smiling, and an officer asks "What about this is funny to you?"
"I've heard people say that I appear to be amused, but I really didn't have any control over myself at the time," Mathewson told ABC News after the incident. "I was just terrified and I really don't know what was going through my head."
Mathewson said people have pranked them in the past by ordering pizzas in their name or having taxis sent to their homes, but said he didn't have any idea who called the SWAT team.
"I don't know what would drive somebody to do something like that, other than the fact that they get to kinda see the outcome live on the stream," he said. "They get to see all this go down right before their eyes and, you know, it's fun to them."
During the SWAT operation, Littleton Public Schools placed several schools on secure perimeter, lockdown and/or lock-in.
Photos from the scene showed employees in the building being evacuated in small groups, some with their hands raised.
"If the investigation determines that today’s incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," police said in a statement Wednesday.
7NEWS sources say Littleton police did bring someone in for questioning in connection to the incident, but that person was released, pending a further investigation.
Video (Good Morning America)
Video (Channel 7, Denver)
Camera Crew: Dominic Frederico and Shannon Reed
Producer: Matthew Mosk
Air Date: 27 August 2014