Prank shooting call puts others at risk

Posted: Friday, May 31, 2002

Anyone listening to the police scanner about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday would have received something of a fright.

There was a report that multiple people had been shot at the Sterling Senior Center. An armed suspect was reported to have fled in the woods behind the center.

Medics were called out. Alaska State Troopers were called out. A full-force response.

Fortunately, there was no evidence of any shooting at all. No blood. No injuries. No armed suspect. Nothing.

Just a prank.

You'd think people would have better things to do than waste other people's time on a nice summer's day. Any day for that matter.

Why aren't they out fishing? Gardening? Working with kids? Hiking? Walking on the beach? Reading a good book? Learning a new skill? Doing something constructive with their time?

Trooper spokesperson Greg Wilkinson said such pranks are rare. We can all be glad for that.

Still, it's maddening that someone would abuse a trooper force already stretched thin for their own amusement. What if there had been a real emergency in the opposite direction of the senior center?

What in the world was the caller thinking?

Troopers should continue their investigation of the prank call. Making a false report is a serious matter -- one that could endanger others -- and those who do such things should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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