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LAPD on Swatting Pranks

SOMEONE'S GONNA DIE

10/16/2012 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1015_justin_bieber_ashton_kutcher_miley_cyrus_article_tmz_getty
The LAPD is gravely concerned ... someone will DIE if the rash of celebrity "swatting" pranks continues ... TMZ has learned. 

You'll recall Miley CyrusAshton Kutcher, and Justin Bieber have all been targeted by "swatting" pranks -- where someone calls 911 to report what they say is a deadly shooting, just for the thrill of seeing the SWAT team respond.

One law enforcement source deeply involved in the investigation warns ... if the pranks continue, it's only a matter of time before an innocent person is mistaken for a phantom shooter and gets shot to death.

Cops are alarmed at the rash of swatting incidents and fear they will escalate even more. They also say it's inevitable that someone waiting for emergency help may die while cops and EMTs are off responding to swatting calls.

But there's good news -- We're told the LAPD has several promising leads ... including electronic footprints left by the people making the prank calls. And in the case of Ashton Kutcher, we're told cops believe the people behind his swatting incident were scoping out his house, and nearby homeowners may be providing some hot leads.

32 COMMENTS

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16.

Parker    

someones gonna die....good just make it all three!

633 days ago
17.

Sonja    

So if a normal person calls in a 'deadly shooting' does the swat team rush out ... or is the swat team just something that celebrities qualify for? How about just sending the regular police, like you would if a normal person called in a shooting, no swat no swatting calls right?

633 days ago
18.

WatcherOne    

This "swatting" is being used as a form of harassment, as well as causing a dangerous situation. It is happening to non-famous people, as well. Google it. It's a bad, bad trend and you'll be surprised at who and why some have been targeted. Someone innocent is going to die and it isn't a "prank". It is a very serious crime.

633 days ago
19.

dapedo    

so they cops are saying they just going to get worse at there jobs instead of better. i mean realy swat are super trained not to shoot unless needed. this is total bs. and it looks like those pigs just want to justify a random killing

633 days ago
20.

JDoors    

People (and, more commonly, pets) have died in SWAT raids in the past, more will likely die in the future. I don't understand how the authorities cannot track the callers. Something smells fishy here. I'm aware of technology that's available to provide anonymity (e.g., for abused spouses), but the authorities are able to override that, and how is that technology so wide-spread that SWATTING has become "a thing?"

633 days ago
21.

_][ Character_Assassin ][_    

Well, look on the bright side. If the "Swatter" is a celeb, they'll get away with it with a slap on the wrist when they make an "anonymous donation" to a particular individual/group.

633 days ago
22.

ucistu    

STOP REPORTING ON THIS! The only reason people keep doing it is you! You are giving these low level humans the idea, so stop it already!

633 days ago
23.

maggie joyner    

i think Ellen DeGeneres and Paul Ryan look alike...... what'cha think?

632 days ago
24.

Bro5436543    

Swatting has actually been going on for years, I for one thoroughly enjoy that it's finally happening to celebrities. But for the record, I've never heard of this amount of enforcement being dispatched for the average peasant as opposed what you see with people like Bieber who are clearly above and more important than the rest of us.

619 days ago
25.

anon    

So basically if a celebrity DID encounter a real shooting.. they as the victim or hostage escaping, has just as much chance of being shot by a SWAT team as the shooter? God help us all if that's how the police work!! .. Yeah I shot him, he was gardening and I was looking for a suspect so I just went for the first person I saw. To be fair he shouldn't have been in the bushes...

534 days ago
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