No threat was found at a five-story office building police swarmed Tuesday after getting a 911 call reporting a man with a shotgun was holding two people hostage there, a law enforcement source familiar with the situation told NBC 4 New York.
Police said Tuesday afternoon the call appeared to be a possible case of swatting, where false information is called in to 911 to prompt the dispatch of a large emergency response. An investigation by the I-Team earlier this year revealed how frequent -- and how costly -- such hoax calls are.
At least half a dozen law enforcement vehicles flooded the scene in Garden City near the Roosevelt Field Mall and the office building was evacuated, sending 200 people outside into a nearby parking lot, after the 911 call came in around 2 p.m., the law enforcement source said.
A hostage negotiator was called to the scene as a precaution.
Heavily armed police with K9 dogs searched the office building room by room, floor by floor, and gave the "all clear" shortly before 5 p.m. after encountering nothing suspicious inside.
Police are now focusing their investigation on identify the 911 caller, authorities said.