‘Swatting’ calls made at homes of 4 Georgia Republican lawmakers over Christmas holiday

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ATLANTA — Several Republican lawmakers had police at their front doors because of fake 911 calls on Christmas Day and the day after.

Channel 2 Action News has learned that four Georgia Republicans, including a U.S. Representative, received “swatting” calls earlier this week.

“Swatting” occurs when someone calls authorities to someone else’s house based on a fake emergency.

On Monday and Tuesday, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and state Senators John Albers, Clint Dixon and Kay Kirkpatrick became familiar with the practice when the illegal calls were made against their homes.

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Channel 2′s Michael Doudna spoke with state Senator John Albers’ son, Will Albers, who was at his family’s home Tuesday afternoon when he heard banging on the front door.

“When I went to the door and unlocked it. I was greeted by quite a few police officers who entered my home with weapons,” Will Albers said. “They weren’t asking, they were telling.”

Will Albers used to work for the GBI and cooperated with police, guessing why they were there.

“This is a serious crime and these people who are doing this need to be arrested. They need to understand the consequences of their actions,” State Senator John Albers said.

John Albers was not home at the time. Instead, he was visiting family in Florida while his oldest son watched the family dog.

“This has been targeted. It has already hit three of us in the Georgia state Senate, and there is no doubt this is a coordinated attack,” Albers said.

According to a Roswell Police Department incident report, officers were called to Albers’ home after receiving a call of a woman being shot and a suspect holding others hostage because he had caught his wife cheating on him. The caller also demanded $10,000 before threatening to shoot himself.

Police say Albers’ home has been the target of swatting calls in the past.

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Channel 2 Action News also obtained an incident report related to a swatting call at state Senator Dixon’s Buford home on Christmas Day.

The incident report says police were called after reports of an armed suspect shooting his wife and holding someone hostage. When police arrived, they learned no one from the home had called 911.

Cobb County police confirmed they also responded to state Senator Kay Kirkpatrick’s home on Christmas Day. They say an anonymous caller claimed to have committed a crime.

Investigators say they learned about several other swatting calls being made from that phone number. It’s unclear if those calls are related to the other lawmakers.

State Senator Kirkpatrick released a statement about the incident on Wednesday that read,

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the law enforcement officers who responded swiftly to a false alarm at our home on Christmas Day. My husband and I were at home, enjoying a quiet holiday, when we received a call from a concerned neighbor informing us that three armed officers were outside our kitchen, responding to a reported hostage situation. To our shock, we had no prior knowledge of any emergency dispatch to our residence.

“Upon going outside to meet the officers, it became apparent that this was a hoax—a fake 911 call that led to a significant deployment of resources. I am truly appreciative of the professionalism and efficiency displayed by the law enforcement members who responded to the situation. Their dedication to ensuring the safety of our community is commendable, and I am thankful for their rapid response.

“Nevertheless, I am sorry that their time and resources were wasted on a false report. This incident has been the first of its kind for me, and I am relieved that it was indeed a hoax. It serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by our law enforcement agencies in distinguishing between genuine threats and false alarms. I remain committed to supporting our first responders and working towards ensuring the safety and security of our community. I wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday season.”

—  State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was also swatted on Christmas Day. She posted on social media that this was the eighth time her home had been swatted.

A spokesperson for the Rome Police Department said a man in New York called the suicide hotline on Christmas morning and claimed he had shot his girlfriend at Greene’s home and was going to kill himself next.

“My local police are the GREATEST and shouldn’t have to deal with this. I appreciate them so much and my family and I are in joyous spirits celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ!” Greene’s post on social media said, in part.

The source of the calls is still unknown, according to the latest information from police.

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Jon Burns released a statement calling the incidents “shameful, dangerous and reprehensible.”

“First, let me be very clear—this is absolutely shameful, dangerous, and reprehensible. Those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Not only does it put those targeted in extreme danger, but it also subjects our heroes in law enforcement to unnecessary potential injury. As Speaker, I will always prioritize the safety, security and wellbeing of our members and every Georgian across our state. We will continue to prioritize our law enforcement and first responders, and look at ways to ensure these heinous acts are met with the appropriate enforcement.”

—  Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Jon Burns

Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones called the illegal calls “dangerous and cowardly.”

“The dangerous and cowardly acts perpetuated against members of the General Assembly and their families must end immediately. I look forward to working with the Senate to strengthen Georgia’s laws so that those who commit these crimes can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

—  Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones

“We will hunt you down. We will find you, we will arrest you, and you will be accountable for this crime,” Albers said.

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