Podcaster Tim Pool was raided by officers while on the air Thursday in what turned out to be a swatting incident.
Officers raided Pool’s home during a live taping of his podcast after an anonymous source reported people had been shot and killed at Pool’s house in Maryland. Several officers responded to investigate what turned out to be a swatting incident, defined by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as “a false 911 call reporting a serious incident to elicit a significant response from police and other emergency services.”
“Someone called Police and said they shot and killed two people and were going to kill more,” Pool tweeted Thursday evening. “Police were told not to enter without a warrant but said they didn’t need one due to exigent circumstances.”
Pool’s co-host Lydia Smith received a text message claiming the household had been raided during the Thursday broadcast of Timcast IRL. Smith’s comments were followed by an officer passing briefly in front of the camera. Pool stepped out of camera view to speak to an officer while his hosts discussed the dangers and risks involved with such raids, according to the video.
Pool later returned to the camera to confirm the raid, saying two officers had entered the house to search the premises. The officers were polite and merely worked to confirm it was a swatting attempt, the podcaster said.
When Pool demanded the officers return with a warrant, they told him they could enter the property without one because of the possible threat.
Brandon Tatum, a former police officer guest-hosting that day, confirmed it was typical procedure, explaining the officers were justified to ensure no crime had been committed.
Cops got call at 8:20pm, arrived 8:27pm
Security camera footage time isn't adjusted for daylight savings
At least 8 vehicles, several different jurisdictions
If it wasn't for our CTO going outside and calming things down it would have been bad pic.twitter.com/0P8RJzYPD1
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) January 7, 2022
Pool later posted a screenshot to Twitter purportedly showing several officers outside. The show’s chief technological officer approached the officers and calmed them down before any violent action could have occurred, Pool said.
The podcaster promised to post footage of the incident on Friday.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident in a press release, saying deputies were dispatched to Pool’s property at approximately 8:15 p.m. “for the report of two people having been shot and the suspect threatening suicide.” A member of the Maryland State Police who arrived at the scene informed the deputies it could be a swatting incident while they were en route.
The deputies responded by noting the exigent circumstances and said they were “going to check and address and confirm the safety of the occupants,” the sheriff’s office said.
“A check was conducted, and it was verified that no one was hurt or threatening suicide. Upon completion of the check of the address, Deputies exited the property,” the statement continued.
The sheriff’s office said it takes swatting incidents seriously and that an investigation is underway.
Swatting pranks have ended lethally in the past, such as when police killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch in 2017 after responding to a call about a hostage situation. Several celebrities have been swatted, including Justin Bieber, David Hogg, Selena Gomez, and others.
Pool, a self-described “disaffected liberal” and former reporter for VICE News, has become a popular YouTube commentator in recent years, regularly creating content critical of Democrats.
Representatives for Pool did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.