16-year-old Fortnite champ ‘swatted’ during livestream
A Pennsylvania gaming wiz who won the Fortnite World Cup last month took home a golden goblet and $3 million.
But this weekend, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf received a different kind of shock.
On Saturday, the 16-year-old was in the middle of a Fortnite livestreaming session with friends when his father abruptly interrupted the game.
Giersdorf was “swatted,” a potentially deadly prank when someone calls authorities and directs them to an innocent person’s home.
In this case, authorities said the caller reported to emergency operators that Giersdorf had shot his father.
“Caller said he just shot his father with an AK-47,” a dispatcher for Montgomery County Police, Fire and EMS said on the line at the time. “He said he tied up his mother in the garage and he shot him up and down his body.”
Giersdorf returned to the livestream just 10 minutes after one of the officers who lived in the neighborhood recognized him. Giersdorf said on his livestream that the responding officers had “come in with guns” and wondered if it could have played out differently.
“I can’t believe that someone would actually do that,” he said on the stream.
Swatting can be a deadly prank. In 2017, Andrew Finch, 28, was playing the video game Call of Duty when a competitor called in a false hostage report and directed police to his home.
Finch was shot and killed by police.
The FBI has estimated that roughly 400 cases of swatting occur nationwide every year.
The young gamer’s dad, Glenn Giersdorf, told ABC News he had a message for the person who swatted his son.
“To the individual who attempted to have our home swatted and could have possibly gotten someone injured in the process, I don’t hate you,” he said. “I am sorry that your life has brought you to this.”
Later in the same livestream, the teen demonstrated the same focus that made him the world champ and won his game.
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