A report that a person had shot his mother at a home in Willimantic, prompting several school lockdowns, turned out to be a false report called in from the United Kingdom and a local teen accused of setting it up was arrested.
Police said a “distraught male” called 911 around noon on April 15 to say he had just shot his mother with a rifle at a home on High Street in Willimantic, and gave a first and last name that police confirmed were associated with that address.
He said he still had the gun in his hand and was afraid to come outside.
The caller stayed on the phone with the dispatcher for more than 10 minutes while officers and detectives headed to the scene, police said.
Eastern Connecticut State University, Windham High School and Kramer School were notified and locked down as a precaution.
When police arrived at the home, they took four juveniles and a man away from the house, detained them and quickly learned that no incident like the one that was reported occurred at their house.
Investigators learned that it was a false report involving a “juvenile acquaintance” of one of the residents and police determined an accomplice in Great Britain might have placed the call.
Detectives identified a 14-year-old boy as the suspect, found him walking back to his home in Willimantic and detained him, police said.
The teen eventually confessed to his involvement in the hoax and said he had paid someone in Great Britain to “Swat” the address involved in the incident, according to police.
Police said the incident tied around a dozen officers up for more than four hours.
The teen was arrested and charged with second-degree false report, false reporting of an incident concerning a serious injury or death, disorderly conduct and conspiracy.
He was released to one of his parents.