Tennessee Man Loses Life After Being Targeted in “Swatting” Incident

Tennessee Man Loses Life After Being Targeted in “Swatting” Incident

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Online trolling and arguments can get pretty heated. The anonymity of being behind a computer screen emboldens some people to act incredibly rudely and often maliciously toward others. One of the most brutal examples of this kind of online malice is through a practice known as “swatting”.

“Swatting” is a practice by which online trolls will find out the home address and full name of someone with who they take issue and then will call in a bogus bomb threat or terrorism threat at their address. The goal of these calls is to get law enforcement, like a SWAT team, to arrive at the location. Such antics aren’t just illegal, though: they’re incredibly dangerous.

A case in point for just how dangerous this practice is played out in Tennessee, where Mark Herring was targeted by a “Swatting” prank that claimed his life.

What Happened?

Mark Herring, 60, passed away in 2020 after being swatted by a Twitter user who wanted Herring’s handle. Herring had the Twitter handle “@Tennessee,” and received constant offers to sell the handle. However, he resisted, uninterested in giving up the highly sought-after name.

Eventually, a pair of minors, one in Tennessee and one in the UK, took offense to Herring’s refusal to sell them the handle and began targeting him with a series of “doxxing” pranks. “Doxxing” is the online practice of leaking someone’s personal information, like their home address.

Herring’s home was sent numerous pizzas, selected for cash on delivery, creati

Online trolling and arguments can get pretty heated. The anonymity of being behind a computer screen encourages some people to act incredibly rudely and often maliciously toward others. One of the most brutal examples of this kind of online malice is through a practice known as “swatting.”

“Swatting” is a practice by which online trolls will find out the home address and full name of someone with who they take issue and then will call in a bogus bomb threat or terrorism threat at their address. The goal of these calls is to get law enforcement, like a SWAT team, to arrive at the location. Such antics aren’t just illegal, though: they’re incredibly dangerous.

A case in point for just how dangerous this practice is played out in Tennessee, where Mark Herring was targeted by a “Swatting” prank that claimed his life.

What Happened?

Mark Herring, 60, passed away in 2020 after being swatted by a Twitter user who wanted Herring’s handle. Herring had the Twitter handle “@Tennessee,” and received constant offers to sell the handle. However, he resisted, uninterested in giving up the highly sought-after name.

Eventually, a pair of minors, one in Tennessee and one in the UK, took offense to Herring’s refusal to sell them the handle and began targeting him with a series of “doxxing” pranks. “Doxxing” is the online practice of leaking someone’s personal information, like their home address.

Herring’s home was sent numerous pizzas, selected for cash on delivery, creating general confusion and making life difficult for him and his family. Finally, a swatting prank resulted in police arriving at Herring’s home, guns drawn, demanding Herring give himself up. The pranksters had used an online application to call the police using Herring’s phone number. Posing as Herring, they told police he had murdered someone on his property.

Intimidation Tactics Cause Loss of Life

Herring suffered a heart attack at the stress of police showing up at his door and passed away. Shande Sonderman has since turned 18 and will be tried in the case as an adult. He targeted at least six other people in similar swatting attacks. The British co-conspirator is still a minor and won’t be extradited to stand trial in the US. 

Sonderman has pled guilty to charges to wire fraud, false information and hoaxes interstate communication of threats, and conspiracy. At this moment , he has not been sentenced in the case, and his lawyers have not made public comments about the case.

ng general confusion and making life difficult for him and his family. Finally, a swatting prank resulted in police arriving at Herring’s home, guns drawn, demanding Herring give himself up. The pranksters had used an online application to call the police using Herring’s own phone number. Posing as Herring, they told police he had murdered someone on his property.

Intimidation Tactics Cause Loss of Life

Herring suffered a heart attack at the stress of police showing up at his door and passed away. The American has since turned 18 and will be tried in the case as an adult. The British co-conspirator is still a minor and won’t be extradited to stand trial in the US. The American, Shane Sonderman, targeted at least six other people in similar swatting attacks.

Sonderman has pled guilty to charges to wire fraud, false information and hoaxes interstate communication of threats, and conspiracy. As of the time of this writing, he has not yet been sentenced in the case, and his lawyers have not made any public comments about the case.