Update: Alyssa Milano released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday night that said her neighbor had initially called police about the armed man in their neighborhood and that her husband had only called 911 to follow up and see when officers would arrive.
Bell Canyon, CA – Alyssa Milano, who has actively advocated for defunding the police, prompted a massive law enforcement response to her community on Sunday after a gunman was reported on her Ventura County property.
Milano has been vocally anti-police on social media for months and was widely criticized for asking for law enforcement to respond to her property after openly demonstrating against them.
Many social media critics pointed out that the “Who’s the Boss?” actress did not ask for an unarmed public health response when she feared for her life.
In June, Milano advocated for a $150 million budget cut for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), WRVA reported.
The actress asked her 3.7 million social media followers to sign a petition in July demanding a 90 percent reduction of the police budget.
Milano called the police union that represents Los Angeles police officers a “narrow special interest group” that protects the police budget and officers’ pensions, WRVA reported.
Milano’s neighbors told the Daily Mail they noticed something was up on Sept. 20 when they saw a helicopter circling above the property where the 47-year-old Milano lives with her talent agent husband, 39-year-old Dave Bugliari.
“We first noticed the helicopter circling overhead very low and knew something was going on, it’s usually such a quiet community,” a neighbor said. “Then we saw all the police cars parked in front of Alyssa’s home. They had their guns at the ready and seemed very serious.”
The 8,000 square foot, $2.5 million house is located 20 minutes outside of Los Angeles inside a gated community.
Initial reports said that Milano and Bugliari called 911 on Sunday and said they had heard gunshots on their almost two-acre property, the Daily Mail reported.
They allegedly told dispatchers the gunfire “scared their dogs” and that they thought the gunman was nearby.
The Daily Mail reported that Milano and Bugliari described their unknown shooter as a 40-year-old man with a long rifle and told dispatchers they were worried the gunman was one of Milano’s stalkers.
But Milano said on Tuesday night that the massive police response was launched in response to their neighbor’s 911 call about a gunman walking on the property line between their houses.
She said that the neighbor who had caused the bruhaha had contacted the police and identified himself as the person with the air gun and “apologized for the commotion that he had caused.”
Milano tweeted that Bugliari had only called 911 after their neighbor “to check on when police would be arriving.”
Neighbors counted seven Ventura County Sheriff’s Department vehicles, a K9 unit, and a police helicopter, as well as a Los Angeles County Fire Department team waiting on standby down the road.
Police guarded the perimeter of Milano’s property and searched both on the ground and by air for three hours, the Daily Mail reported.
The manhunt came to abrupt end at about 12:20 p.m. when deputies figured out the cause of the panic.
“It turned out it was a neighborhood teen with an air gun shooting at squirrels,” one of Milano’s neighbors told the Daily Mail.
The neighbor said the teenage boy was watching the police response to the 911 call and when he realized why they were there, he quickly turned himself in.
Then police had a short, impromptu meeting with residents at the Bell Canyon Community Center to dispel fears and explain what caused the incident that has been dubbed “Squirrelgate,” according to the Daily Mail.
Milano’s neighbors told the Daily Mail they were not impressed with her handling of the situation given how vocally anti-police she has been in the past.
“She can tweet those things because at the end of the day she lives behind gates in a gated community,” one of the actress’s neighbors told the Daily Mail. “She knows the police will come to save her. But what about all those people who don’t have that luxury and live in unsafe neighborhoods? She obviously doesn’t care.”
Another neighbor called Milano a hypocrite, the Daily Mail reported.
“She uses her platform in hypocritical ways,” the neighbor complained. “Why not send your husband into the yard to find out what is actually going on before you call the police? I would guesstimate the response today from law enforcement cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.”