Police ask for public's help in apparent shooting hoax

Oregon State Police are asking for the public's help in locating the supposed "victim" in what appears to be a hoax shooting call in Josephine County.

At approximately 3:45 a.m. Sunday, OSP responded to a report of a shooting on Stonebrook Way in Merlin. The 911 call was from the reported victim, with a possible identification of Michael M. Stevens, police said.

The caller told dispatchers he had been shot with a rifle and was hiding from a shooter in the nearby woods, police said.

Dispatchers kept the caller on the phone and OSP responded to the location. A reported "suspect" was called out from a residence and detained. The surrounding woods were searched and the caller was not located. The phone was pinged to find the location and the phone was found in a nearby ditch, according to OSP.

Based on the investigation, the incident appears to be a hoax which put lives in danger and tied up resources as part of a prank, police said.

OSP is asking for public assistance in locating or identifying the caller, or to provide any additional information. Information can be reported by calling 541-664-4600.

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