At approximately 11:50pm on 5/3/2021 the Bates County Sheriff’s Office received a call from what appeared to be a juvenile stating that his father was actively shooting a rifle in the house. He stated that his mother was shot and was deceased in the house. The caller stated that he was currently hiding in the house from his father. The caller gave a specific address on South Olive street in Butler.
This type of call automatically initiates an all officer call out. Members of the Butler Police Department, Bates County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol from Bates and Cass, Rich Hill Police Department, and Adrian Police Department converged on that address given. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office was notified with a request for assistance from them for an additional tactical team. Multiple ambulances and fire department units were staged in the immediate area to assist in rescue plans or injuries.
The caller disconnected after stating his father was in the basement and was about to come out and find him.
Officers on scene sat up a containment perimeter at the address given by the caller. It is important to note that there were no sounds of an active shooter at the residence when officers arrived. Negotiators began to call out the occupants of the house. A short time after communications on the loudspeaker started an elderly female came to the door. Deputies made contact with the female and advised her of the reported call at her residence. She gave Bates County Sheriff’s deputies permission to search her residence which reveal no such type of incident at the residence.
The female was very startled and confused. Law enforcement made sure she was ok prior to leaving to check other areas to make sure there was not a mistake between the north and south address. Meanwhile both dispatches continued to attempt to determine the origination of the call.
It was determined that the call was made using an internet software program to hide the identity and location of the caller. It was determined that the call may have come from the ￼Pasadena California￼ area.
This type of call is not common to Bates County community but is often known as “swatting”. Swatting is where someone calls a police department with a horrific type of call that would activate a SWAT team response. There have been several incidents across the country that has resulted in Law Enforcement killing or injuring innocent occupants during this type of calls.
At the same time Law Enforcement was clearing the original call they received another call by a resident on West Lee Street who stated he just heard a gunshot east of his residence. Officers responded to that area but found nothing. Called out officers remained in the Butler area for several hours before being released.
“These types of incidents are dangerous and completely unacceptable. The resources that were utilized and manpower directed away from other duties/calls for service can and do often get people hurt or killed.” Says Sheriff Anderson. “We are working with the Chief of Police to attempt to locate the source of the call. If we can identify the caller, we plan to pursue charges no matter what state they are from. We will also reach out to our Federal Law Enforcement partners to ask for assistance in this case. Chief Wheatley and I want to Thank all the agencies that responded or was in the process of responding. This is another situation were keeping positive relationships among agencies within the county and outside the county benefit all our citizens. Every one of those first responders were willing to put their life second to one of our citizens. In today’s world that is becoming harder to find.”