Police Determine Reports of ‘Active Shooter’ at California Disneyland Hotel Are a Hoax


Law enforcement officials responded to reports of a possible active shooter at one of Disneyland’s hotels in Anaheim, California, on Thursday only to discover it was instead a dangerous hoax.

In a post on Facebook, the Anaheim Police Department said officers received a report of an active shooter at or near the Disneyland Hotel at approximately 6:10 p.m., prompting a “significant police response.”

“Responding Officers quickly determined the report was a hoax. Officers thoroughly checked the area and did not locate any evidence a shooting occurred,” police said.

There is currently no threat to the Disneyland Resort or the surrounding area, although officials noted there would be an increased police presence at the Disneyland Resort and surrounding area throughout the remainder of Thursday evening.

Police did not state whether or not a suspect or suspects had been arrested following the hoax, which took place during the busy Christmas season.

According to multiple reports, the Fantasy Tower of the Disneyland Hotel was evacuated.

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The Epoch Times has contacted the Anaheim Police Department and a spokesperson for Disneyland resorts for further comment.

Thursday’s incident comes amid a surge in fake shooting hoaxes, particularly among schools across the United States.

Rise in ‘Swatting’

Over the past year alone, more than 500 schools across 24 states have fallen victim to such hoax calls, according to a report published in October by The Washington Post.

The calls—part of a larger phenomenon known as “swatting,” in which individuals or groups make hoax calls in an attempt to make police dispatch a large number of armed police officers, typically tactical units, to a particular address—are currently the subject of an FBI investigation, the publication notes.

Earlier this month, police arrested a juvenile suspected of conducting so-called swatting attacks at Jewish synagogues in Tustin and Fullerton, California.

According to the FBI, the suspect is a member of an online swatting ring that had made fake emergency calls regarding numerous religious, educational, and public institutions across the country, including synagogues and African-American churches.

The swatting group is suspected of calling in the hoaxes targeting at least 25 synagogues in 13 states between July and August alone.

“The false swatting threats made in this case drained law enforcement resources and caused a negative financial impact on local communities,” the FBI wrote in a press release regarding that incident in November.

“Evidence has shown that making false threats can cause significant distress to victims and can cause physical injury to first responders or other victims.”

Jill McLaughlin contributed to this report.


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