BELFAST — Police responded Saturday, Jan. 14, at 5:39 p.m. to a 911 call of a reported shooting at a Union Street in Belfast.

The caller, a male, told Waldo County Emergency Dispatch that he just shot his brother and that his brother was dead, according to a news release from Belfast Police Chief Robert Cormier. Dispatch then notified officers to respond to the reported shooting while keeping the caller on the phone. While units were en route, Dispatch updated the responding units that they could hear gunshots over the phone. The caller stated he just shot his brother again and that he would not come out if asked by police and that he was still armed.

Once officers arrived at the scene, they called into the house and had the occupants come outside for their safety, which they did. While speaking with the residents, the male caller ended the call with Dispatch by saying the call was a hoax and then hung up. Officers checked the interior of the house and after speaking with the residents who cooperated fully, they confirmed the call was unfounded.

The investigation now shifts to locating the source of the “swatting” (hoax) call, and if the person is located, they will face criminal charges. It is a crime in Maine to make a false call to 911, creating “False Public Alarm.” These calls can put both the community and officers at risk, and tie up resources needed for legitimate emergency calls.

For anyone who becomes the target of a hoax call, it is important to remember that police take these types of calls very seriously and must investigate them fully. Cooperation when police arrive is extremely important to resolving them safely.

Anyone who has information about this investigation is asked to contact the Belfast Police Department at 338-2040.