Police on Friday swarmed former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s home in Washington, DC, following a false report claiming that a man had shot someone inside, authorities said.
The Washington Post reported that DC police showed up heavily armed in response to what appears to have been a “swatting” attempt.
As Insider previously reported, swatting is a practice during which someone calls the police on an innocent person in an effort to draw attention to them. Swatting is rare but it has in some cases resulted in injuries and deaths. The act became a federal crime in the United States in 2015 and can be punishable by up to a lifetime in prison.
Police said they received a tip claiming there was a man with a gun inside Bannon’s home who had shot someone, the Post reported. It’s unclear who made the claim, but the call did not come from Bannon’s home.
The caller did, however, identify Bannon’s address. It’s unclear whether the caller knew it was Bannon’s home, the Post reported.
Upon receiving the report, police responded to the scene and closed the streets surrounding the Supreme Court and the Capitol building, according to the Post. After investigating, police concluded that there was no active shooter threat.
Police did find a person who said they were armed but did not find any evidence of a shooting, weapon, or victim. The person seemed to have been experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the Post.
“It was learned that there was no incident inside, there was no shooting that occurred, and it appears to be a false 911 call,” said Assistant Chief Jeffery Carroll with the Metropolitan Police Department, adding that there will be further investigation to determine who made the call in the first place.
—DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 8, 2022
In response to a question from an NBC News reporter asking whether he received a call from the police saying there was a threat to his home, Bannon only said that “the police were terrific.”
—Liz Brown-Kaiser (@lizbrownkaiser) July 8, 2022
Bannon, the former White House chief strategist under the Trump administration, was indicted in November by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress. The grand jury issued the indictment after the 68-year-old refused to comply with a subpoena in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot. Bannon had turned down a request from the House committee tasked with investigating the riot that he sit for a deposition.
His trial is scheduled for July 18.