Los Angeles police on Friday arrested a 25-year-old gamer they say made a prank call that led a SWAT team to fatally shoot an innocent man over an online gaming dispute.
Tyler Barriss was detained by the LAPD, NBC News reported.
Authorities suspect Barriss called 911 and concocted a story about a hostage crisis in a Wichita, Kansas home.
Barriss then allegedly gave 911 dispatchers a false address in Wichita.
Los Angeles police on Friday arrested a 25-year-old gamer, Tyler Barriss (left), they say made a prank call that led a SWAT team to fatally shoot an innocent man, 28-year-old Andrew Finch (right), over an online gaming dispute
When Finch came to the front door of his home on West McCormick Street in Wichita, he was shot dead by a police officer
When the resident of the home, Andrew Finch, 28, came to his front door, he was shot dead by a police officer.
Finch was likely the victim of an internet prank known as ‘swatting’ – where someone makes up a false report in order to get a SWAT team to respond to another person’s address.
More than a dozen people involved in the online gaming community have said that an argument between two Call of Duty players over a $2 bet caused one to initiate the ‘swat’.
Wichita police received a 911 call that that a father had been shot in the head and the shooter was holding his mother, brother and sister hostage.
‘That was the information we were working off of,’ Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said to the Wichita Eagle.
In the call released by the police department the caller tells the dispatcher: ‘They were arguing and I shot him in the head and he’s not breathing anymore.’
His mother Lisa Finch (above) said that her son, Andrew, was unarmed when he opened the door to the family’s home Thursday night after hearing something
The dispatcher then tells him to put the gun down.
The caller says it was ‘an accident’ and adds: ‘I’m just pointing the gun at them, making sure that they stay in the closet, my mom and my little brother.’
He then threatens to burn the house down saying: ‘I might just pour gasoline all over the house; I might just set it on fire’, before hanging up.
Officers went to the house and prepared for a hostage situation. Bodycam footage shows that when Finch came to his front door, he was shot by a cop.
Livingston didn’t say what caused the officer to shoot the man or whether he was armed. No one else was wounded in the home.
His mother Lisa Finch said that her son, Andrew Finch, was unarmed when he opened the door to the family’s home Thursday night after hearing something.
She said he screamed and was shot. She said the family then was forced outside barefoot in freezing cold and that her granddaughter was forced to step over her dying uncle.
Lisa has said that her son was ‘murdered’.
Andrew Finch may have been the victim of an internet prank known as ‘swatting’ – where someone makes up a false report in order to get a SWAT team to respond to another person’s address. It appears that one user gave another user a false address, which ended up being Finch’s residence
Police are investigating whether it was a ‘swatting’ incident or prank. The FBI joined the investigation on Friday afternoon.
‘This call was little peculiar for us,’ Livingston said.
‘[The call] went to a substation first, then it was relayed to dispatch, then dispatch gave it to us. We have a lot of information to go through.’
‘We were given some misinformation on the (original) call,’ he said.
‘We got a call that someone was deceased in the residence and that proved not to be true. Also, we’re still trying to determine who was the hostages and how that unfolded as well.’
A spokeswoman says a company that runs online gaming tournaments is assisting authorities as they investigate the fatal shooting.
UMG Gaming operates online gaming tournaments, including one for the Call of Duty game.
Some false calls to police can be a felony punishable by up to 13 months in prison for a first-time offender under Kansas law.
More than a dozen people involved in the online gaming community have said that an argument between two Call of Duty players caused one to initiate the ‘swat’
It appears that police may have been given a false address by one of the gamers, and Finch lived in the home
‘I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION,’ said one gamer on Twitter, who others said made the swatting call.
His account has since been suspended.
‘That kids house that I swatted is on the news’, the same account tweeted.
It appears that police may have been given a false address by one of the gamers, and Finch lived in the home.
The shooting happened on the 1000 block of McCormick Street in Wichita on Thursday night
The argument apparently began over a $2 bet during a Call of Duty World War II game
The person who was supposed to be the target of the prank tweeted: ‘Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed.’
The argument apparently began over a $2 bet, according to the gaming news website Dexerto.
‘What the f*** am I hearing swatting a innocent person getting them killed over $1.50 wager right after Christmas?! You two deserve to rot in jail, and I really hope that you do’ another user tweeted.