A false call to 9-1-1 is responsible for a rapid law enforcement response to downtown Missoula in the vicinity of the Russell Smith Federal Courthouse.

Lieutenant Bob Bouchee with the Missoula Police Department said the call came in to 9-1-1. just before 8:30 a.m.

"9-1-1 got a call from a male that he has hostages and that he has shot one of the individuals, and demanded a $20,000 ransom," Bouchee said. "Officers from the Missoula Police Department and the FBI all responded."

Bouchee said after some investigation into the call, it was determined that the call itself was fake, and that these types of calls are occurring around the country and are what is called 'Swatting'. The investigation into the prank call is ongoing.

Bouchee said such calls can pose a genuine danger to the public.

"This kind of all could be a violation of privacy in communications or disorderly conduct, or considering the response, it could also be criminal endangerment, due to the fact that so many officers were responding with lights and sirens, thus putting themselves and others in danger, and that's a felony," he said.

KGVO called the Missoula County Attorney's office, and a representative there said at a minimum it could be charged as a false report.

Bouchee said no one was injured in the incident.

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