The Washington D.C. home of former White House adviser Steve Bannon was reportedly “swatted” on Friday after police received a false report claiming a gunman had shot someone inside the residence.
Jeffery Carroll, assistant police chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters at a press briefing that authorities received an emergency call on July 8 at about 10:45 a.m. involving a shooting in the 200 block of A Street Northeast.
“When officers arrived on the scene, they did not observe any outward indications that a shooting did occur,” Carroll said, adding that the area, which is near the U.S. Supreme Court building and the U.S. Capitol, was shut down for around an hour out of precaution.
“It was learned that there was no incident inside, there was no shooting that occurred, it appeared to be a false 911 call that occurred outside the location,” the assistant police chief said. “So, at this time, there is no threat, there is no danger right here in the area.”
Authorities told The Washington Post that they encountered someone who claimed to be armed and appeared to be having a mental breakdown, but upon arrival, no weapon or wounded individuals were located.
A spokeswoman for the police department later said they received a 911 call that reported an armed person was inside the rowhouse and had shot someone.
However, police quickly determined the call appears to have been a “swatting” attempt, or an incident when someone calls a crisis hotline to prank police of an emergency in order to have a SWAT, or an emergency police operation, descend on an individual or a particular address.
Bannon was later seen in a video re-entering his home. It is not believed the 68-year-old former adviser of President Donald Trump was home at the time of the hoax call and police operation.
“The police were terrific,” Bannon told NBC News as he was seen walking up the stairs of the rowhouse. It is unclear if the caller knew it was Bannon’s residence.
Carroll confirmed during the briefing that there were people inside the home and responding officers made contact as they walked through the house to make certain everyone was safe.
“Obviously, they were a little bit shocked, but … they understood why we were there,” the chief assistant said.
Bannon served as the White House chief strategist during the first seven months of the Trump administration.