LA MARQUE — Police surrounded a house Thursday in response to a what turned out to be a hoax call apparently targeting a software programmer embroiled in a copyright dispute involving the popular video game “Minecraft.”
An unknown caller, who dialed the La Marque Police Department through the Skype online messaging service at about 1:15 p.m., told dispatchers he had just killed his parents at a house in the 2300 block of Clark Street, police said.
The caller identified himself as a former military service member named Wesley Wolf and said he had an assault rifle and “had more people to kill,” Sgt. Shawn Spruill said.
Police surrounded the home and blocked off parts of the street. An officer used a megaphone to order anyone inside the house to come out.
Three apparently shocked family members, an elderly man and woman and their adult son, emerged shortly before 2:30 p.m. Police searched the house and spoke to Wesley Wolf, 25, and his parents, Spruill said.
Wolf told police he is a programmer who has developed software that has created copyright issues with Internet-based businesses, Spruill said.
Wolf told officers he has been subjected to harassment and hate mail through social media because of the ongoing dispute, police said.
Several online message boards discussing the game “Minecraft,” feature posts about Wolf and a copyright infringement claim he apparently leveled against the developer.
According to the online posts, the copyright dispute led to a popular online modification, or “add-on,” to the game being taken down, apparently to the consternation of some gamers.
Wolf, who went to the La Marque police station to give astatement, could not be reached for comment. A message left at the front door of the house later in the afternoon was not returned.
Police said the hoax phone call may be an incident of “swatting,” when someone calls authorities and falsely reports a major crime to elicit a significant police response.
No SWAT teams were mobilized Thursday.
An investigation is ongoing to determine who made the false report to authorities, police said. Police Chief Randall Aragon said authorities were required to take every precaution in case the report turned out to be true.