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Ind. SWAT Team Tricked Into Raiding Grandma's Home

July 02, 2012  | 

Photo is illustrative. Photo: POLICE file
Photo is illustrative. Photo: POLICE file

Indiana police have arrested the man they believe made online threats against law enforcement and caused the Evansville Police Department's SWAT team to raid the home of an 18-year-old and her grandmother.

Derrick Murray, 31, told the Courier & Press he is a suspect in the June 21 raid, when SWAT officers broke a storm door and a front window and set off two flashbang stun grenades at 616 E. Powell Ave.

Murray lives in the neighborhood and apparently used a Wi-Fi device to hack into his neighbor's "open IP" address and cause investigators to believe he was at the home.

Tags: Building Raids, Online Investigations, Evansville (Ind.) PD


Comments (21)

Displaying 1 - 21 of 21

9878 @ 7/2/2012 6:58 PM

When will people secure their internet connections? I guess when we come crash their doors down! <G>

Richard @ 7/2/2012 8:10 PM

A little more intel may have been needed before signing an affidavit for a search warrant - but I have neglected survellience myself in the rush to justice, and had similar results. Admit our mistakes, apologize, train to improve, and move on.

Jim Miller @ 7/2/2012 9:14 PM

I've used less info and kicked a door before, but I would have hesitated once I determined the wifi was open. But, better to make a error like that than to have people killed while you "sat" on info.

Diego @ 7/2/2012 11:59 PM

Someone is going to get paid....opens the dept for liability...

Random @ 7/3/2012 12:30 AM

Couldn’t a LEO post something using a suspects network and use the post for probable cause?

Also, “A broadband provider may know the location where the wires terminate, but this does not necessarily allow the mapping of an IP address to that location. IP addresses are often dynamically assigned, so the ISP may allocate an address for online access, or at the time a broadband router is engaged. The ISP recognizes individual IP addresses, but does not necessarily know to which physical location it corresponds”

So, how is a post from a network any more probable cause than anonymous tips saying that a person got an anonomus tip, “the suspect was at a location”? Or was the warrant based upon exigent circumstances?

CiH @ 7/3/2012 3:10 AM

In response to the last, you can indeed source the location through the IP address. Yes, IP addresses are dynamically assigned, however the service provider will "know" to whom the IP is assigned at a particular time. If this was not true, no warrant for any electronic transmission would ever be signed and they are every day.

Greg @ 7/3/2012 4:02 AM

Problem with the photo. it was hot, the front door was open and a screen door was all preventing the access to the police (this was reported earlier when the story broke).

A threat made on the internet doesn't really justify a dynamic entry with the full flash bang and full auto weapon drama....they even had the press outside to film their work. Sounds a lot more like grandstanding than anything else.

Hope the people in the house sue the hell out of the city. At least they didn't kill any dogs, that's becoming way too common by way too many wimps in ninja suits vs. the uniformed officers. Never shot anybody's dog myself.

Bob @ 7/3/2012 4:31 AM

LE needs to do a much better job with intel. How about simply calling the supposed originating number back and see who answers? Pretty simple precaution. The excuse above about sitting on info until someone is killed could be just the opposite. If someone busts down an armed citizen's door without notice, bullets may fly and an innocent civilian be murdered by SWAT. That's not an unknown outcome. This isn't Helmut Province and SWAT isn't SOCOM.

Phil @ 7/3/2012 4:39 AM

Stop all your drama for a minute.

What are you going to do when YOUR door to your house starts getting thumped hard and things start shooting around you?

Ever hear of home invaders pretending to be police? Its been happening around RiverCity for at least 30 years that I know of.

Used to be when it happened it was a dope deal. Not so now, chances of it being mutually dope related are still there, but pretty iffy.

All of our jobs are to protect and defend the Constitution, so be sure you have a real good reason and better evidence before you start violating the sancitity of someones home.

And remember, you never too much ammo,

unless you are swimming.

John Doe @ 7/3/2012 4:59 AM

Stop being dumb asses and use the fing doorbell.

Trigger @ 7/3/2012 5:24 AM

Damned if you do and damned if you don't!

hu huh uhuh huhu @ 7/3/2012 5:35 AM

Uhh, i hate to break it to you people stating that "people should encrypt their wireless" and "ip addresses can be located physically". its trivial to crack WPS in 70% of all retail routers in existence. its also fairly easy to install remote access utilities on machine throughtout the world, hence there are methods that make it very difficult to trace somone who actually knew what they were doing.

If i hop through 2 neighbors "encrypted" wifi, use RDP from an xp workstation on the last network to hop onto Tor, and maybe a swedish proxy and then start threatening the police, it would take federal action to even get the source back to my neighborhood, and then what? i guarantee you those home routers arent logging shit. good luck.

David @ 7/3/2012 6:33 AM

Sue the Police? Are you nuts the POS that caused this should be held responsible for all cost.

Rev. Lowrey @ 7/3/2012 9:20 AM

What ever happened to the days when police knocked on the door and asked a few questions instead of crashing doors and throwing stun bombs?
Judges also need to ask a few more questions before signing warrants.
This is not the way to improve cooperation.
They will have to write a lot of traffic tickets to make up for the lawsuit.
Some people share their wireless on purpose to be nice to their neighbors.
Times are tough.
A little more investigation and less militarization and paranoia would be a good thing for everyone.
You know, what they call "good old fashioned police work".

Khan @ 7/3/2012 9:24 AM

My outer perimeter is a 7' iron fence. So if I am inside my home, secure in the knowledge that there are no warrants for me and I have broken no laws, then when my inner perimeter begins to shatter, it will be met with significant response. My presumption must be that I am the victim of a home invasion. I fully aware that people on both sides of that door will most likely die in that instance and I am prepared to take that risk to protect my family. Please make d@@n sure that the warrant is accurate...and then ring the bell at the gate!

OH Yeah? @ 7/3/2012 10:01 AM

It is a good thing granny didnt have a heart attack or other distress due to this action. I hope the perp is made responsible for any and ALL damages for this horrible act.

Wolfva @ 7/3/2012 10:34 AM

First off, to the people criticizing the cops, what were they supposed to do? The info they HAD was that a violent man who was threatening cops lives was there. SO, they should ring the doorbell? <BOOM> Dead cop. Call back? I'm sorry...violent people don't lie? If this had been on the level, then they did the right thing. It only seems wrong because a punk lied and sent them a red herring.

Second. There is a thing called 'Swatting', where you spoof another person's phone number and call the cops saying something like, "I just killed my wife and I'm at home waiting." This is happening to conservative Bloggers lately, like J. Patterico. The intent is to shut them up one way or the other by people who disagree with them. BE AWARE OF IT! Before going in, try to gather as much info as possible, because there are deranged people out there trying to get bloggers killed by cops.

Bob @ 7/3/2012 2:55 PM

First off, the info the police had was bogus. A simple phone call or good investigative work would have determined that no one in the house was a threat to anyone. Kicking in doors like they were clearing houses in Fallujah should never be done in the U.S. without DETAILED, corroborated intelligence. Judges need to raise the bar dramatically for these warrants. Such warrants should be darned-near impossible to obtain rather than routine.

Second, good, corroborated, verified intelligence is the immediate answer to swatting, not apologies to survivors and family members after the fact. Swatting only works because the police don't do their basic job of investigation before kicking in doors, killing children (7 year old in Detroit), or innocent inhabitants (Iraq vet in AZ, 92 year old in Atlanta).

Police were never meant to be SEAL wannabes on search and destroy missions with more weaponry than an Army infantry squad. Do the research as to how many SWAT members have been killed in raids vs. how many innocent civilians that they have killed and you'll see that things are very wrong indeed.

tnie @ 7/4/2012 12:36 AM

So the police made a little mistake. Let the police do their job and keep the community safe. Police officers are at all times in danger and I can't wait for the day when law enforcement can start using unmaned drone attacks against gang members and pot smokers. Lets keep our police officers safe and use technology to eliminate every drug addict in the country or send them to a private prison for life where they belong.

ladycop @ 7/6/2012 6:30 AM

I'm in agreement with Khan...its a person's right to protect their homes, family, and selves. Not to say, under the circumstances of a violent/serious offender, that I don't agree with taking no chances and kicking a door down when the feeling of confidence and the backing of evidence puts you and your team at a door......however, if this grandmother would have blasted the front man, there wouldn't have been a damn thing that dept could do. other than fire back and kill a old lady....who wins at the end of this day??? The very offender who put SWAT there to start with and like it or not that 18 yr old grand daughter would have lived very comfortably the rest of her life. LEOs usually just want to save the world/day/community and have the best intentions, but unfortunately that's not a legal defence.

ladycop @ 7/6/2012 6:30 AM

I'm in agreement with Khan...its a person's right to protect their homes, family, and selves. Not to say, under the circumstances of a violent/serious offender, that I don't agree with taking no chances and kicking a door down when the feeling of confidence and the backing of evidence puts you and your team at a door......however, if this grandmother would have blasted the front man, there wouldn't have been a damn thing that dept could do. other than fire back and kill a old lady....who wins at the end of this day??? The very offender who put SWAT there to start with and like it or not that 18 yr old grand daughter would have lived very comfortably the rest of her life. LEOs usually just want to save the world/day/community and have the best intentions, but unfortunately that's not a legal defence.

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