GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley was the victim of a swatting attack last month after a man claimed to have shot his girlfriend at her South Carolina home. Swatting is when someone makes a false report prompting a police presence, and several politicians have recently fallen victim to swatting attacks. At least 27 swatting attacks of politicians, prosecutors, election officials, and judges have been documented by Reuters since last November. Swatting could result in injury or death as police are arriving to a home believing there to be danger present.
In late December, police responded to the former South Carolina governor’s $2.4 million dollar home in Kiawah Island, a gated community, after receiving a 911 call from a man who claimed to have shot his girlfriend and threatened to harm himself while at the residence of Nikki Haley. Craig Harris, Kiawah Island director of public safety, confirmed that the incident was determined to be a hoax and that he was in contact with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), the FBI, and Haley’s security team.
The FBI has reported an increase in threats of violence against government officials and that responding to fake threats ties up law enforcement resources. The FBI and its state and local partners will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators of these threats and hold them accountable. Federal agents are tracking the call and planning to open a “threat assessment” of the incident.
Haley and Trump have been in heated debates since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race following the Iowa Republican Caucus earlier this month, leaving Haley and Trump as the only viable options ahead of the New Hampshire primary election.