MIAMI – A phone call about a possible hostage situation in Parkland, Fla., on Tuesday morning led police officers to swarm the home of one of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s most outspoken student activists.
It turned out to be a prank called “swatting” – an illegal hoax call increasingly employed as a harassment tactic.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said the target of call was the Parkland home of Stoneman Douglas senior David Hogg. The 18-year-old has emerged as one of the leading voices at the high school since a Feb. 14 massacre by a former student who opened fire with an AR-15-styled rifle and killed 17 students and staff on campus.
“They said there was someone in the home with a weapon,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office public information officer Gina Carter. “SWAT responded. They cleared the home. It was a hoax and we will be investigating.”
The call came in at 8:39 a.m. When police arrived there was no one in the house.
Hogg was one of the leaders of anti-gun march in Washington in March and has been pushing elected leaders in Tallahassee and in the nation’s capitol on gun control measures. At the end of May, Hogg led a sit-in at a supermarket after learning Publix had donated a large chunk of money to a state legislator who prides himself of being pro National Rifle Association. The giant supermarket chain caved and said it would no longer make political contributions.
Hogg is also one of several student leaders who will take part in a bus tour this summer to several cities in a get-out-the-vote campaign.
The continuing campaign has lead to social media attacks against many students, including Hogg, from many conservative and pro-gun commentators.
In 2015, dozens of Miami Beach police officers and SWAT members raced to the home of rap icon Lil Wayne on land, by water and with K9s after someone placed a prank call to police.