“Swatting” Caller From Los Angeles Gets 20 Years In Federal Prison For Man’s Death

A Los Angeles man whose online gaming wars led him to call in a “Swatting” phone call on a Wichita, Kansas man and caused his death has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Swatting is an online gamer practice of calling police and claiming a crime is in progress at a location, causing authorities to show up at the victim’s house.

Tyler Barriss had previously caused the KABC-TV studios to be briefly evacuated after calling in a similar scare. But in the Wichita case, Andrew Finch, the innocent victim of the call, answered the door and spooked police by failing to comply with their orders, causing them to shoot him dead.

Barriss confessed to similar swatting calls in California and Washington, DC. In the Wichita incident, he pleaded guilty to a count of making a false report resulting in a death, a count of cyberstalking, and a count of conspiracy.

“Swatting is no prank,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a release. “Sending police and emergency responders rushing to anyone’s home based on utterly false information as some kind of joke shows an incredible disregard for the safety of other people. I hope that this prosecution and lengthy sentence sends a strong message that will put an end to the juvenile and reckless practice of ‘swatting’ within the gaming community, as well as in any other context. … I also hope that today’s result helps bring some peace to the Finch family and some closure to the Wichita community.”

Barriss had called Wichita police and claimed that someone at the Wichita address had shot his father and was holding his remaining family hostage with a gun. As part of his plea, Barriss said he initiated the call after an argument while playing the Call of Duty online game. One of his gaming companions told him to swat the opponent, but gave him an incorrect address, leading to Finch’s death. Finch had no connection to the other gamers.

UPDATE:  The Los Angeles man who allegedly initiated the “Swatting” death of a Wichita, Kansas man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Tyler Barriss, 25, is currently jailed in Kansas for the death of Andrew Finch, 28, who was shot and killed during a police raid in response to a false report of an armed hostage situation allegedly initiated by Barriss. Unarmed Finch was shot after putting his hands near his waist as he walked out of his home in response to the massive police presence.

Barriss allegedly called the police after an argument between two players in the Call of Duty online game. One of the aggrieved parties asked Barriss to make the prank call and gave him Finch’s address.

“Swatting” is a hoax tactic used to get special police units to respond to alleged hostage situations. A false story is given, provoking a mass police response to a location.

Barriss previously served time for pulling the same Swatting prank on Los Angeles television station KABC-TV.

EARLIER:  A Los Angeles man arrested in the so-called “swatting” shooting death of a Wichita, Kansas man may have played the same prank on a local television station.

“Swatting” is a hoax tactic used to get special police units to respond to alleged hostage situations. A false story is given, provoking a mass police response to a location.

Tyler Barriss, 25, was arrested in Los Angeles Friday on suspicion of making a hoax phone call to Wichita police, claiming a hostage situation and shooting was happening at a local address. Police responded and shot Andrew Finch, 28, to death. It was subsequently alleged that the call came as a result of a dispute during a session of the online game Call of Duty and that there was no trouble at the scene.

In October 2015, Glendale police arrested a 22-year-old man with the same name for making bomb threats against the offices of KABC-TV. The threats resulted in the broadcasts for the day being made from a remote satellite feed via trucks.

Barriss was subsequently was charged with two felony counts of a false report of a bomb to an agency of business and one felony count of criminal threats. The disposition of that case is unknown, but Barriss faced  a possible maximum sentence of four years and four months.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2019/03/swatting-caller-from-los-angeles-gets-20-years-in-federal-prison-for-mans-death-1202233838/