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911 caller impersonates IA woman, falsely reports son shot father

Posted at 6:32 AM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 06:32:02-04

WEST DES MOINES, IA (KCCI/CNN) – An Iowa woman was shocked when a police SWAT team blocked off her street and banged on her door following a prank call to 911 that came from out-of-state.

The bizarre call came into West Des Moines, IA, dispatch Monday afternoon from a woman claiming to be Amanda Wallace.

"My name is Amanda Root Wallace, and my son, Seth – I don't know what's gone on. He had a fight with his daddy Donald, and he shot him,” the fake caller said. "He went upstairs and got the hunting rifle, and he shot him in the chest."

You can hear crying and panic in the call.

Right away, one dozen officers swarmed the area with guns drawn, blocking off the scene for a mile and even putting a nearby elementary school on lockdown.

But when officers banged on the door of the house where the crime was supposed to have taken place, the real Amanda Wallace had no idea what was going on.

"The door's coming open. It was a police officer and he just asked me if I was OK. I was like, 'Yeah,’” Wallace said.

Someone had impersonated Wallace to report the fake shooting. The family says they have no idea who would do this.

"I'm very creeped out, and it really bothers me that they used my son's name,” Wallace said.

Police traced the number to a Jiffy Lube in Texas and deemed the incident a “swatting” call, or a fake 911 call threatening intense violence.

Public safety officials say calls like this are dangerous and frustrating because they pull resources from real emergencies.

"So, it's a very poor thing to do, and it's like saying there's a bomb somewhere or something. It's taken really seriously,” said David Edgar with West Des Moines Public Safety.

Authorities say they are working with Texas police to try and catch the 911 caller. If caught, the caller could face criminal charges.

"It's just really sad that somebody would take the time to do something like that. I mean, what a horrible thing to say, to just make it up,” Wallace said.

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