Arrest in Call of Duty-linked 'swatting' death

Glen Norman
December 31, 2017

Police in Los Angeles have arrested a man they suspect made a hoax emergency call that resulted in a SWAT police officer fatally shooting a man at the door of his own home in Kansas, law enforcement officials said Saturday.

Tyler Barriss, 25, was arrested by police in Los Angeles on Friday in relation to the investigation.

Barriss is the same man who allegedly called in a bomb threat to KABC-TV in 2015, which led to an evacuation of the Los Angeles television station, according to the Glendale Police Department in Los Angeles County.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston on Friday characterized the hoax call as "swatting" and blamed a "prankster" who called 911 with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at the victim's address.

Police have not disclosed the name of the man who was killed Thursday evening, but relatives identified him as Andrew Finch, 28.

The online gaming community and media reports point to a $1 or $2 Call of Duty wager gone wrong as the reason for the false report to police, also known as "swatting".

Swatting has gained traction across the country with online gamers. "I shot him in the head, and he's not breathing anymore", says the man on audio released by Wichita police.

"I already poured gasoline all over the house, I might just set it on fire", he told the dispatcher, according to a recording of the call published on the newspaper website. Armed officers in 2016 responded to an anonymous call claiming an active shooter was at Clark's home.

The man's family said he was not involved in online gaming.

"The person who made the phone call took my nephew. two kids' father", Finch's aunt, Lorrie Hernandez-Caballero, told the paper. "The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department".

"The police said, 'Come out with your hands up, '" she added.

When police showed up, Finch went to the front door.

"The irresponsible actions of a prankster put people and lives at risk".

She told The Wichita Eagle that her son had screamed before being shot and insisted he did not play video games. Fearful that Finch was going for a firearm, an officer discharged one round, killing the father of two, said Livingston.

"What gives the cops the right to open fire?" she asked.

"We woke this morning to terrible news about an innocent man losing his life", UMG spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an email to The Associated Press. The quick and free trick, using websites and apps, makes a call appear to the 911 operator as though it is coming from inside someone's house.

Mr Finch's mother Lisa Finch told reporters "that cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place".

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