The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office responded to threats of a father being shot and his son being held hostage Tuesday, only to learn that a hacker had delivered the message.
The “swatting” incident, in which someone tries to trick law enforcement and emergency-response crews into responding, happened after 8:45 p.m., Lt. Greg Elwin said.
Deputies and fire crews responded to a home off Vail Cut-Off Road Southeast near Rainier to find a teenager playing a video game.
“He had no idea what was going on,” Elwin said.
The call to dispatch came from a representative from AT&T, who Elwin said had seen messages “of an alarming nature” coming from the Internet Protocol address at the home.
Someone remotely accessed the teen’s Xbox account and sent text messages, Elwin said, adding that he thinks the culprit could be an Xbox user from out of state.
The case has been handed to the county’s computer-forensics detective.