WAKE FOREST, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Wake Forest Police Department is investigating a "swatting" incident Tuesday morning along Heritage Lake Road.
Officials explained "swatting" is when someone calls 911 to get a response from law enforcement - usually a SWAT team.
"First I heard over a bullhorn, 'Put your hands up, get your hands out of your pockets,' and when I heard that, I looked out the window and there were a couple of police cars over here and about a minute later there were about five guys in tactical gear with their guns drawn going into the building," said neighbor Shannon Chester.
If it was supposed to be a joke, police weren't laughing.
"Swatting incidents are especially disturbing because they place innocent citizens and emergency personnel at risk, while also diverting police attention and resources," explained Wake Forest spokesperson Bill Crabtree.
Crabtree said police went to a reported death inside an apartment at Bexley at Heritage apartments around 9 a.m. Several Wake Forest police units were dispatched, including the Tactical Service Unit, and a portion of Heritage Lake Road was closed.
After entering the apartment and questioning the resident, police determined the report was a hoax that was apparently phoned in from somewhere in Florida.
"It really puts innocent people at risk. It diverts police resources from areas that may really need it, and it's really traumatic for the community when people see this huge police presence. They worry about their safety," Crabtree added.
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