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Report of California gunman that locked down schools turns out to be 'swatting' hoax

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 14, 2018

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A report of a man shooting his wife at their North San Diego County home Tuesday may have been a swatting call, San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies said.

Deputies got a call indicating a man had opened fire on his wife at a home near San Elijo Park in San Marcos about 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

Investigators surrounded the home, breaking down the door with guns drawn. They found the man unarmed on the balcony. No victim was in the home. Several schools were temporarily placed on lockdown. 

The man’s wife later arrived at the scene, unaware of the situation. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she and her husband are gamers with millions of followers. 

"People always have an opinion and they may not like what you do or say and sometimes it’s taken to an extreme when they call the cops on you," said the man's wife. 

The wife said her husband had no idea deputies had entered the home until he heard shouting. He usually wears a headset while he's playing. 

"He heard 'this is the police' ... he took his headset off and he came downstairs, and he saw guns being pointed at him. He wanted to show his hands because he was afraid to get shot," she said. 

The call made to deputies was traced back to a doctor’s office in Michigan, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies confirmed the call was a hoax.

Swatting is the practice of making a hoax call about a crime to draw law enforcement officers to a specific location.

The San Marcos man said he had been playing an online game when the incident happened.

This story has been updated from the initial Sheriff's Department report that a woman had been shot at the home.