A 60-year-old man who was targeted for his coveted Twitter handle died after a prank call sent armed police officers to his home.
In April 2020, Mark Herring, 60, was the victim of 'swatting,' the act of prank calling the police on an innocent person with false claims that they have committed a serious crime.
Herring was targeted by Shane Sonderman over his Twitter handle @Tennessee, where both Herring and Sonderman were from. Herring claimed he joined Twitter at its inception.
Sonderman, who is due back in court July 21, and another associate, who were both minors at the time, concocted an elaborate prank to extort Herring in a bid to obtain the @Tennessee handle.
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Mark Herring, 60, was the victim of 'swatting,' the act of prank calling the police on an innocent person with false claims that they have committed a serious crime
60-year-old Herring (pictured with his grandchildren) would often brag to his family about the multiple offers made to him for his online handle
Herring was targeted by Shane Sonderman over his Twitter handle @Tennessee, which Herring claimed when he joined the social media site
His daughter Corrina Fitch told myhighplains.com that Herring originally picked the handle @Tennessee because he loves the Volunteers, the University of Tennessee football team.
Herring was well aware he had a special internet property and would often brag about the many offers he would get for it to his kids.
'He would just in passing say, I got another offer on my Twitter handle today,' Fitch said.
But Herring was not willing to sell the handle, leading to the strange set of events that ended in his death.
In April 2020, his daughter received a pizza delivery intended for her father at her home. Her sister Katie Hooge and their mother, Fran Herring, who live across town from her, each received a pizza - also meant for Mark Herring - at their homes.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Fitch called her father and did not get a response. She even sent him a Facebook message trying to figure out what was going on. Then her sister messaged her.
'My sister texted, ''What's this about?'' And I just said, ''I just got pizza for Daddy at the house'' and she said, ''we just got pizza for Daddy at our house.'''
Fitch thought it was a prank, but Mark's son-in-law Greg Hooge had a gut feeling something was wrong and reached out to the 60-year-old's