EPD concludes March swatting incident was linked to victim’s gamer status


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Officers respond to the scene outside Engelhart Hall at Emerson Street and Maple Avenue in March. EPD recently concluded the investigation into the swatting incident, EPD Cmdr. Ryan Glew said Tuesday.

Elizabeth Byrne, Summer Editor

Evanston Police have concluded their investigation into the March swatting incident on Northwestern’s campus and deemed the incident linked to the victim’s status as a gamer, EPD Cmdr. Ryan Glew told The Daily Tuesday.

On March 14, EPD received a call from a man who claimed to have shot his girlfriend in Engelhart Hall, a graduate residence hall. The Northwestern community was informed to seek shelter and the streets surrounding the residence were blocked off. Police later determined the call a “swatting incident” after discovering the residence was vacant and the couple, who were the subject of the call, was found safe.

Glew said police discovered the victim of the call, the boyfriend of a Pritzker School of Law student, was a “very successful gamer” and the motive behind the call was likely related to his status as a gamer.

“It is consistent with other incidents that happen across the country,” Glew said. “In the absence of something to discredit or eliminate that as a motive, it is what we found to be the motive.”

Police have not yet identified the caller and have no leads, Glew said. In May, the Chicago Tribune reported a similar call made to the Chicago Police Department on the same day, tied to the same couple.

Glew said EPD assessed the March incident and is routinely working to improve.

“Anytime something like this comes up, we review the incident to see if things could’ve been done better and things that worked,” Glew said.

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This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. on July 25 for clarity.