PARKLAND, Florida—Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor David Hogg, now one of the most outspoken voices in the anti-gun violence “March for our Lives” movement, was the victim of a “swatting” prank Tuesday morning, when police responded to a hoax call about criminal activity at Hogg’s Florida home.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office told The Daily Beast a “prank call was made to that address,” and the “incident was cleared” when officers arrived to the home and found no activity. They also said that the call was going to be “investigated” because “it’s illegal” to call in false reports to law enforcement.
WPLG reported that the call described “a hostage situation” at Hogg’s home. Fire rescue, police, and a helicopter were all subsequently dispatched to the home.
"I'm fine and safe in [Washington] D.C.," Hogg told The Daily Beast via text. "[I'm] with my family right now, we were swatted."
“Swatting” is the term used to describe a prank phone call placed to emergency management services in order to prompt a large police response. The individual who swatted the Hogg family allegedly said they had taken the teenage activist and his family hostage, sources told The Daily Beast.
“It’s a prank, but I’m really excited about the bus tour to change America for the better so that people no longer have to live through another school shooting,” Hogg told The Daily Beast while in D.C. to receive the RFK Human Rights award.
“It’s simply a prank meant to distract us from the the March for Our Lives ‘Road to Change’ bus tour,” he added.
Hogg has been one of the most vocal student activists in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed 17 people at his high school. He was an early target of criticism from gun-rights activists, with Fox News host Laura Ingraham going as far as to mock him for being rejected from several colleges; and some on the far right smearing him as a “crisis actor” in the shooting’s immediate aftermath.