KEARNEY - The telephone number used by a man to reported a fake homicide and hostage situation Sunday in Kearney was from out of state, placed through a web-based voice call system.

Kearney Police Department investigators are working with the web host to determine where the call originated from, said a KPD news release Monday afternoon.

At 5:21 p.m. Sunday a male subject contacted the Kearney Police Department on their non-emergency phone number saying he was at 1910 Fourth Ave. The man told dispatchers he had shot his wife and intended to shoot responding police. 

Uniformed police officers and deputies from KPD and the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and established a perimeter around the house and closed a three block section of Railroad Avenue from Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

The residents of adjacent homes were told to stay inside. 

The house at 1910 Third Ave. is a house converted into two apartments, the release said. Residents of one apartment were contacted and asked to leave.

Officers determined those residents, both adults, weren't involved.

Members of Emergency Services Unit (SWAT) team and negotiators were dispatched to the area.

While officers were on scene, additional phone calls were received from the man indicating he was armed with multiple firearms and that he could see police near the house. The man gave specific details, indicating he may have been observing the responding officers.

Officers contacted the landlord of the property and learned the apartment was vacant. ESU team members deployed a remote control device inside the residence and determined the apartment was unoccupied, which was confirmed by a secondary check.

Nearly 30 members of law enforcement spent two hours responding to the call. 

KPD continues to investigate the case as an alleged false report in an effort to draw a large police response. No arrests have been made.

If a suspect is located they face a charge of misdemeanor false reporting.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Kearney police at 308-237-2104, the Buffalo County Sheriff's Office at 308-236-8555 or Crimestoppers at 308-237-3424.

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