No joke. It happened around 6 p.m. Eastern. I briefly talked with one of the police officers at the scene, who confirmed that someone had called saying he had shot his wife, and sent officers to Aaron’s address.
I just got off the phone with Aaron and he and his wife are a little shaken up but OK. According to Aaron, the officers had machine guns but did not point them at Aaron. They were quickly able to determine it was a hoax.
Aaron plans to post about it later.
UPDATE: Here is Aaron’s post about his SWATting. I found this passage interesting:
Let’s not forget the last time someone intentionally engaged in conduct that they knew could get me and my wife killed. In that case we know who the culprit was: Brett Kimberlin. He intentionally and gratuitously revealed my real name, home address, work and work address, in court documents and then told the police in a letter that he believed because of his actions that “there exists the very real probability that Mr. Walker could be subjected to serious harm or death now that his identity has been exposed.” And then he fought tooth and nail to keep that information from being sealed, and then fought to get them unsealed.
Put aside for a moment whether you believe that it actually endangered Aaron’s life for Kimberlin to reveal his name. Put aside whether you believe that Kimberlin was actually concerned for Aaron’s life when he wrote to police.
The fact is that Kimberlin took actions — publicizing Aaron’s private information — that a) were unnecessary and b) he claimed posed a danger to Aaron’s life. And Kimberlin continued to fight in court for the principle that this information remain public — the very circumstance that Kimberlin claimed posed a danger to Aaron’s life.
Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it?
UPDATE x2: Aaron warned his police department weeks ago that something like this might happen. Erick Erickson did the same thing. And their experiences were far less unpleasant than mine. I can’t guarantee that Aaron was treated better because of the advance warning, but it may well be the case.
I had actually considered warning my police before I was SWATted. But I worried about looking paranoid and conspiratorial. So I didn’t.
Any blogger or even commenter who has taken an aggressive position talking about this story — especially people who know they have come onto Brett Kimberlin’s radar screen — should consider talking to their local police about the possibility that they could be SWATted. It is no joke, and worrying about looking silly is a poor reason not to act.
Take it from me.