• ‘There's 5 dead now': Westmoreland Co. officials probe disturbing, phony text linked to nationwide hoax

    Updated:

    JEANNETTE, Pa. - Police have been trying to find whoever sent texts to the Westmoreland County 911 dispatch center, claiming that a man had an AK-47 rifle and five bodies in his home.

    Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens says the incident was a hoax known as "swatting" -- so named because it's meant to prompt a SWAT or similar police response to a home.

     The text was sent Jan. 7, and prompted police in Jeannette -- about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh -- to surround the home before finding an unsuspecting homeowner inside.

     One text read, "There's five dead now and I got more today." Others told police the occupant of the home had the automatic rifle, a desert eagle and a grenade.

     Authorities are hoping to trace the texts with the help of phone companies.

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