February 28, 2020 (Moscow, Idaho) --
At 4:25 am on Feb. 28, the Moscow Police Department received a call from the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline stating a male caller claimed to be suicidal and armed at an unknown location in Moscow. It was determined the call was a hoax.
The caller identified himself only by first name. Research on the phone number indicated it was an internet-based calling number and not available for GPS location.
Moscow Police Hostage/Crisis Negotiators were called and spoke with the individual for approximately 90 minutes, during which time the caller indicated he was at a residence in the 700 block of East "E" Street in Moscow. Officers responded to the area and placed Moscow Ambulance on standby. No reports of gunshots were received from Moscow Dispatch anywhere in Moscow. The caller continued to speak while sounds of gunshots could be heard over the phone, but not at the residence where officers had responded.
Through information gathered from the Hostage Negotiators, the call was confirmed to be a hoax. This determination was made due to several factors including inconsistencies in information shared by the caller; the caller changing his name during the call; incorrect information regarding the location as verified by responders on scene; sounds that were heard on the phone line, but not at the location; and, additional inconsistencies in the issues being reported. Officers did make entry into the residence and were able to confirm the caller was not inside and was not associated with the residence.
The caller eventually stated he was in Canada, mocked officers, and challenged them to try and charge him for the hoax call.
Officers and EMS personnel cleared the scene at 6:52 A.M.
Further research after the incident revealed, the Veterans Suicide Hotline, who works in association with the Idaho Suicide Hotline, had received similar calls in the past from an individual identifying himself by the same name. The Veterans Hotline believed the calls they received were from the Boise, Idaho area.
Story Contact: James Fry, Police Chief