WATCH: Littleton gamer held at gunpoint in apparent ‘swatting’ hoax

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LITTLETON, Colo. — An online game led to a real visit from SWAT officers in Littleton on Wednesday, after an apparent hoax that has begun to target people who stream live content online.

Littleton police SWAT responded to an office complex at 1221 West Mineral Avenue after a 911 call.

“The caller stated that he had just shot multiple people, multiple co-workers, at his office building over here,” said Littleton police chief Doug Stephens.​

SWAT officers and bomb technicians swept the building but didn’t find any sign of trouble. Instead, it appears it was all a hoax targeting a group of online gamers who were live streaming from the facility at the time.

“There’s a somewhat, not really common, prank that happens,” said Daniel Gidlow, part of a group streaming gamers known as The Creatures. “While we’re live streaming to thousands of people, somebody calls the cops.”

Two gamers posted videos to YouTube on Wednesday afternoon, which shows the SWAT response during a live stream from Kootra, another member of The Creatures.

In the video, Kootra states that he believes they have been “swatted” because he can hear officers clearing the office. A short time later several officers enter the room with guns drawn, telling Kootra to get on the ground. Over the next several minutes the officers question the gamer as he sits handcuffed in the room.

Though police originally detained a few of the gamers, they did not make any arrests and said they were cooperative with the investigation.

The SWAT response also led to several security precautions at area schools. Other businesses in the office park were also impacted.

“It was a bit intimidating,” said Jeff Barela, who works next door. “The police came in and said, ‘Hands up, we need to see them.’ They had guns drawn and they escorted us out of the building.”

Justin Beiber and other celebrities have been targets of similar hoaxes nationwide in recent years, which is why Littleton police have also reached out to federal authorities for assistance.

“We’ve had some success with back tracking these types of calls through the internet and through our phone record systems to identify the caller and prosecute them,” Stephens said.

Not only is it a waste of taxpayer money and public safety resources, Stephens says it’s a hoax that carries some dangerous potential.

“This is not an online game. We have real guns, real bullets and there is a potential there for some tragedy,” Stephens said.

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  • Geaorge

    “This is not an online game. We have real guns, real bullets and there is a potential there for some tragedy,” Stephens said. – Because the police are out of control they will shoot unarmed people?

    • jarinarenos

      It’s already happened. Look up Christopher Roupe, shot for holding a wii remote. Cops claimed the kid “pointed a gun at them”. This is happening more and more often. And time after time, there’s no charges filed against the trigger-happy cop.

  • Test

    Sending a SWAT team with no evidence of a crime is like a doctor starting surgery with no evidence of a disease.

    This is not a video game, suspicious phone calls should be treated as suspicious phone calls. The prankster makes the call, the police decide how to react. A homeowner is not allowed to go outside with guns drawn just because someone prank calls them.

      • Orangello

        Emergency surgery on an undiagnosed patient seems like an unreasonable risk.
        There is the risk of a non-criminal citizen returning fire BEFORE the officers are identified. There is also the risk of criminals imitating SWAT tactics for home invasion robberies (has been documented several times in U.S.).

    • Bloo

      So if someone has you at gun point, you call the police about it, you want them to sit around and debate whether or not it’s an actual crime occurring or if it’s a prank? They respond because it’s their job to respond. The lawsuits they would get if it got out they had to debate on if it was a prank call or not would cripple the state.

  • billy

    Maybe do some police work before showing up looking for someone to shoot just because someone made a phone call. Police should be charged with felony menacing and assault with a deadly weapon.

    • ADD

      If my life was in danger and I someone had called 911, I would much rather the swat team show up ready to save my life rather than wait while they conduct an investigation on the caller and send out a lone unarmed officer to make sure it is real. You really have to think out the other possible scenario, had it not been a prank.

  • Chris Heaton

    How did he know he was being swatted? If I heard cops in a building I was in that would be the last thought on my mind… Something see’s a little fishy with this

    • Wyatt

      The creatures raised $20,000 dollars fo childrens charity like a week ago, part of the agreement was if they raised the full money Kootra would have to say a curse word out loud, this is the kind of man you are accusing of purposefully getting guns drawn in his face. I’ve been following the creatures for several years, and I can tell you you are looking at this wrong. This happens commonly to streamers, someone finds a way to get their personal information and then calls the police to that location during a live broadcast so they can watch the situation play out. The creatures have way to much at stake to orchestrate such a hoax and I would bet my life on that.

  • Nicholas Felix

    Hmm it’s nice that they did show up to check it out… but barreling into the house without a warrant, or sufficient proof of something actually going on was dangerous, and out of line. What if the resident got the impression he was being invaded by a thief, as often gamers have headphones on, we don’t hear intro screams or yelling, or often can’t hear exactly what’s being said outside of them; and drew a weapon to shoot etc., since we do have that right.

    Could have ended extremely badly had the resident been a weapon carrier. The behavior on the polices end was terrible, even the way they arrested him, Stepping on the victims back, because a high powered rifle pointing at him isn’t enough? What if he caused bodily damage to him on mistake?

    • Jess

      Just to clarify, this happened in an office building, not his house. The person who called in the false report claimed that they shot a few of his co-workers and were holding others hostage. Since the police thought that this involved an active shooter they called in the SWAT Team and pretty much shut down the entire neighborhood which included two schools and other businesses. The guy in the video, Jordan, is one of the founders of the group called the Creatures who work in that office space. The Creatures sometimes do skits for their videos on YouTube and they actually have some prop guns. Also, Jordan owns a collection of knives which were in his office a few doors down the hallway. If they were filming one of their skits this whole thing would have ended terribly.
      As a side note, I am so glad that no one got hurt although I agree that the police were pretty rough with him. I have been a fan of The Creatures for a couple of years now and Jordan is one of the most innocent gamers I know. Seriously, I think I have only heard him swear twice.

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