Swat team surrounded Rafael Castillo\'s home while he playeD Call of Duty
Swat team surrounded Rafael Castillo\'s home while he played Call of Duty Getty

A Call of Duty gamer was so wrapped up in shooting virtual enemies that he failed to hear a heavily armed Swat team screaming for him to surrender outside his door.

Clueless teenager Rafael Castillo, 17, carried on button-bashing while an army of police officers surrounded his house and a helicopter circled overhead in Long Island, New York.

The gun-toting cops were ready to smash their way in to the teen's home following reports of a bloody gun rampage there.

But the account was actually only as real as the teenager's joypad heroics – a furious rival had called the police to get revenge for losing to Castillo in an online shoot-out. The New York Police Department was told: "I just killed my mother and I might shoot more people."

What ensued was a two-hour long stand-off during which time Castillo's mum fled the property and officers yelled at him to come out with his hands up.

But the lad happily carried on gaming, completely oblivious to what was happening around him because he was wearing headphones.

The penny finally dropped that the police had been pranked when Castillo's brother arrived home to be told by an officer that he had been shot dead.

Jose Castillo said: "I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn't know what was going on.

"Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed. I said, 'How is that possible if she's right there and I'm right here?'"

It is thought the sore loser found Castillo's address by tracing his online IP address.

The NYPD and Castillo had fallen victim to a phenomenon called "swatting" where pranksters rack up points for getting the most officers and equipment to a scene by lying that a violent incident has happened.

Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney told CBS: "It's very dangerous."