NewsWatauga County Schools

18 year old Canadian now charged in “swatting” incident at Watauga High School

Last Updated on January 28, 2022 4:31 pm

Update January 28, 2022 – The following updated information is from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

On January 26, 2022, as a result of the ongoing investigation, the Manitoba RCMP East District Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) re-arrested 18-year-old Sean Murdock, from Fisher River, as he faces an additional six counts of Public Mischief in relation to other swatting calls.

“Swatting” is the practice of making a phone call falsely describing a life-threatening situation in order to provoke an armed police response

The examination of the electronic devices seized from Murdock's home determined that he had made an additional six swatting calls to various police departments located in the United States.

These police departments included;

  • Bridgman Police Department (Bridgman, Michigan)
  • Appleton Police Department (Appleton, Wisconsin)
  • Lane County Sheriff's Office (Lane County, Oregon)
  • Indianapolis Police Department and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • Colonial Police Department (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
  • Collinsville Police Department and Madison County Sheriff's Office (Collinsville, Illinois)

These calls ranged from threats made in relation to an active shooter to bomb threats involving large facilities. As a result of these phone calls, numerous law enforcement personnel were dispatched to these locations which were all determined to be false.

Sean Murdock is scheduled to appear in court on March 8, 2022, in Peguis First Nation, Manitoba.

January 21, 2022 – An 18-year-old Canadian has now been charged in “swatting” incidents that occurred at Watauga High School and in Tennessee.

Sean Arthur Murdock is charged with two counts of Public Mischief and two counts of Mischief related to both swatting incidents, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police tells News Channel 11. Public Mischief is punishable by up to five years in prison while Mischief is punishable by up two years. He is also being investigated for six other swatting incidents that happened in the U.S. and additional charges are pending, according to the report. He has a court hearing scheduled for February 8, 2022.

On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Watauga High School went on lockdown after an anonymous call that a student at Watauga High School had made threats of causing harm. Boone Police confirmed after the situation , “Prior to today’s incident, information was received by the Boone Police Department and our law enforcement partners indicating there was the possibility of a hoax or “swatting” call happening in Boone”

At the time confirmed, via Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), that on August 17, 2021, the Manitoba RCMP East District Crime Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) received a request to assist law enforcement agencies in the United States. These agencies included the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations.

RCMP also confirmed that the police departments reported receiving a 911 call, on separate dates, from a male advising he was inside a school with a firearm and was going to start shooting. In both cases, the schools were placed on lock down and a large number of police officers, including SWAT officers, attended.

The initial investigation was started by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) after Volunteer High School in Johnson City, Tennessee was targeted. TBI determined that the phone calls originated from a number registered to a residence in Manitoba, according to RCMP.

Further investigation by the RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service determined that the residence was located on the Fisher River Cree Nation. On August 30, 2021, officers attended to the residence and executed a search warrant. A number of electronic items were seized.

Officers arrested Murdock at the residence and he was taken into custody and later released for court scheduled December 7, 2021, on the Peguis First Nation, Manitoba.

Back to top button