KELLER (CBS11) – Keller Police tracked two fake 911 calls about shootings back to a 15-year-old boy. Police said the boy watched from the roof of his home, as officers rushed to investigate each false shooting.
Two nights in a row, Keller police officers went to the 1200 block of Verona Way after 911 calls about a shooting.
In both cases, the calls turned out to be fake.
One of the calls involved the home of the city’s former mayor, who is running for office again, and initially believed the calls were politically motivated.
Pat McGrail said his wife woke him up late Sunday after seeing flashlights in the backyard. After a booming knock on the door from police, he said he opened it to see officers with guns drawn on his front porch.
McGrail said police told him the 911 caller said he had been shot, and there was an active shooting in progress at the house. For some reason, McGrail said he didn’t grab his own gun when his wife woke him up.
“And as I think back, I could have walked out with that gun in my hand,” McGrail said. “Somebody could have been in the back and saw me walking around in the dark with the gun, who knows what could have happened.”
Another call Monday night sent police back to the same street.
At least three people with the City of Keller led McGrail to believe the call had targeted his home again, but Tuesday police said they had responded to a different home on the same street.
Call spoofing involves calling from a disguised number. It’s also referred to as swatting, because the false reports sometimes result in SWAT teams being dispatched to the home of the unsuspecting target.
Police said Tuesday there was nothing initially to indicate McGrail was specifically targeted by the calls. However, the former mayor believes they were politically motivated.
“I’m also concerned about our public safety people, because they put their life on the line every day of the week,” he said.
McGrail said he did not believe his opponent in the race, Rick Barnes, was in any way connected to the incident.
Barnes told CBS11 he hoped the calls were not politically motivated, but that if they were, that the person responsible would be found and held responsible.
Police said the boy chose the homes to target at random. There was nothing to indicate McGrail was specifically targeted by the calls.
The boy’s parents helped police find the cell phone he used to place the calls. Police said the false reports to 911 are a Class A misdemeanor.