Streets were temporarily closed off near the U.S. Supreme Court late Friday morning as law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting at the residence of Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Donald Trump, that turned out to be a “swatting” incident.
Around 10:45 a.m. Friday, members of the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police were alerted that there had been a shooting from an individual suffering “a mental health crisis” at a home on the 200 block of A Street NE. The residence in question belonged to Bannon who was reportedly in the middle of broadcasting his show “War Room” which continued despite the police presence, according to Breitbart.
Before it became evident that Bannon was the victim of “swatting,” a prank that involves a false report to the authorities to force a response to an address or person, NBC News reporter Frank Thorp provided an update on Twitter stating in part, “HEAVY police presence…responding ‘to a report of an individual with a mental health crisis. He was making threats that he shot someone. No victim has been found.’ Officer told me a man claimed to have ‘a rifle.'”
HEAVY police presence centered on the block of A St NE btwn 2nd & 3rd. MPD says they’re responding “to a report of an individual with a mental health crisis. He was making threats that he shot someone. No victim has been found.”
Officer told me a man claimed to have “a rifle” pic.twitter.com/gQt5N86eAb
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 8, 2022
Blocks in the area had been closed to the public for about an hour, according to the Washington Post, while concerns of an active shooter near the Supreme Court and Capitol Hill remained. They were reopened around 12:30 p.m. after the determination was made that it had been a false report.
Bannon told NBC News “The police were terrific” as he was seen reentering his home shortly thereafter.
“The police were terrific,” Steve Bannon says after a massive police presence cleared his street. @DCPoliceDept just provided a briefing saying there was a false 911 call of a shooting on this block. MPD did not name Bannon’s house as a target. pic.twitter.com/VhBvGcrMi1
— Liz Brown-Kaiser (@lizbrownkaiser) July 8, 2022
Assistant D.C. police chief Jeffery Carroll provided as much information as he saw fit to reporters about the active investigation and explained that “out of an abundance of caution [police] established a command post here, established a perimeter [and] canvassed the area.”
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 8, 2022
As for Bannon and the occupants of the residence, Carroll stated, “They were a little bit shocked, but obviously they understood why we were there.” He went on to note that the initial call had been made from a different location and that the matter was being investigated.
“Swatting” has become a popular weapon of disruption targeting public figures on the right, putting them and members of law enforcement at risk. Podcast host Tim Pool had stated in April that he had already been “swatted” eight times since interviewing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene earlier in the year.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 15, 2022
Bannon is currently awaiting trial for contempt of Congress related to the Jan. 6 committee hearings which he had requested be delayed from the July 18 start date because, as his attorneys stated, “It would be impossible to guarantee Mr. Bannon a fair trial in the middle of much-publicized Select Committee hearings which purport to broadcast investigative ‘findings’ on topics that are referenced in the Indictment.”
However, on the “swatting” incident, Bannon had a carefree attitude and reportedly told Breitbart’s Emma-Jo Morris, “Honey badger don’t give a f*ck,”
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