‘I’ve never had guns drawn on me before,’ – Neighbors Describe 911 Hoax Scene

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POINT TOWNSHIP -- People who live on 9th Street in Point Township near Northumberland describe a terrifying scene after someone called 911 to report a shooting on the street.

"It was focused pretty much right on my home and it had me concerned very much that something's wrong. I thought a burglar," Jessica Reichner said.

It turns out there was no emergency.

Police say the call Wednesday night was a hoax, and the house in question was vacant.

Jessica Reichner says police initially focused on her house.

She showed Newswatch 16 the video her surveillance cameras picked up. It shows lots of police cars outside her house. She says police initially told her to stay inside, but then they told her to go outside with her hands up.

"It was very, very intense. A very intense moment to be under gunfire almost in front of your own residence," Reichner said.

The Point Township police chief says as far as the investigation stands, they are pulling all of the 911 tapes and listening to the voices.

The chief says more than one call was made and those calls appear to have come from a fake number. He says that if the caller is caught he could face charges such as false reports to law enforcement, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct.

A district attorney from another county estimates possible prison time of four to eight years.

People who live on 9th Street say they hope the person is caught because the incident was so scary.

"We started walking towards them (police). They had their guns drawn on us and stuff like that. It was kind of scary because I've never had any guns drawn on me before," Howard Miller said.

"It's terrifying even though if it was a joke for somebody else, even though it's not for the neighbors. It's not for us," Jennifer Miller said.

The Point Township police chief says it cost emergency crews thousands of dollars to respond to the hoax.

2 comments

  • Valfreyja

    We need new laws on the books for swatting. The phenomenon is picking up and these smaller sentences are not adequate. Having loaded weapons drawn by tense officers who fear a violent assailant may open fire on them increases the likelihood of their weapon being discharged accidentally, putting the lives of the victim at risk. In any other scenario, this is attempted manslaughter and needs to be prosecuted as such.

    • papokergod

      So who made the call to change the address given to 911? Not the caller. Cops on scene decided that. While I agree this is an abuse of the 911 system, but someone with boots on decided to target an innocent person’s house simply because they were the only one home and the call had to do with a vacant house with no actual probable cause to point the weapon at an innocent home owner. Nobody owns that decision but the cops.

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