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Tom Cruise is apparent victim of a 'shots fired' 'swatting' hoax

January 17, 2013 |  2:20 pm

Tom Cruise answers questions during a news conference last week to promote his film "Jack Reacher" in Seoul. Photo: Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Beverly Hills police surrounded actor Tom Cruise's home Thursday after a report of shots fired that appeared to be another "swatting" hoax, authorities said.

Authorities were still investigating the call, which they said did not originate inside Cruise's home, Beverly Hills police Sgt. Renato Moreno said. It was not immediately known if the actor was home at the time.

Beverly Hills police tweeted, "No emergency, everyone safe."

Cruise isn’t the first celebrity targeted in a “swatting,” a prank in someone calls to report a nonexistent emergency at a location, which often results in the deployment of a SWAT team. Several others have been victims of similar incidents in recent months, including Charlie Sheen, Miley Cyrus, Simon Cowell, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber.

In December, Los Angeles police arrested a 12-year-old boy believed to be behind several “swatting” incidents at the homes of Kutcher and Bieber, along with local businesses.

Lt. Marc Reina said the boy used a computer program that allowed him to make TTY calls used by people who are hearing-impaired. The boy set up a fake account and began making the swatting calls via message to LAPD, he said.

"He is very clever with computers and could be applying this in a positive way," Reina said.

In October, Beverly Hills police responded to Cruise’s home after a security guard used a stun gun to detain a neighbor on the property. Authorities later said the man was intoxicated and “may have confused himself and entered the wrong property."

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-- Richard Winton and Kate Mather

Photo: Tom Cruise answers questions during a news conference last week to promote his film "Jack Reacher" in Seoul. Photo: Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

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