Renton police respond to possible shooting, turns out to be swatting call

RENTON, Wash. — A Renton father says police need to do a better job vetting 911 calls to make sure they're not fake.

This, after his teenaged daughter was scared out of her wits when the SWAT team showed up at his house believing someone inside was armed.

The family says Renton police have now traced the call to Ontario, Canada, which has everybody scratching their heads.

But before they found that out, police broke through this fence on what they thought was a rescue mission.

This is all too familiar to Ryane Mar and his family: -- armed Renton SWAT officers descending on his Fairwood home under the false belief that this is the scene of a violent crime.

It first happened two years ago. But that time no one was home.

"And this time my daughter was home, my youngest one," said Mar. "And she was in the shower. And it sounds like, yeah, she's pretty, pretty frightened."

The call came into Renton police just after 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, claiming a man had just shot his wife and a child was hiding inside.

Al DeCaro arrived, knowing only his granddaughter was home. By then the SWAT officers had broken through a fence.

"They were all over the place," said DeCaro. 
He says they were about to break down the door. "Yeah, about to kick it in," he said. "But I give them the code (to the house). "

As for his granddaughter?

"She didn't even know it was going on," he said, "had no idea."

Her father wants to know why.

"That's what I want answers to," said Ryane Mar. "I think there should be something done or said and look at the process of how this is being going about.

Her father says police need to do a better job of determining if a 911 call is legitimate.

"I respect they're doing their job but at the same time, you're talking with society now," Mar said. "I just don't want something to happen. What happened if this had happened during nighttime? Right, during (the) dark? Things that you just don't know."

He is still rattled by all of this.

KIRO 7 will be checking with Renton police to find out what they learn about whoever called this in.

If they catch the person, they could be charged with a crime.

The term "swatting" refers to intentionally reporting made-up, violent crimes at someone else's home to trigger a swarm of SWAT officers. It can have deadly or criminal consequences. The crime isn't new, but continues to be a persistent problem for law enforcement particularly involving gamers, tech workers and personalities.

KIRO 7's previous coverage of swatting in Western Washington can be found below:

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