Arrest made in connection with swatting case that killed Kansas man

Hannah Rogers
December 31, 2017

Los Angeles police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of making the swatting call that ended with a Wichita man being killed by police. In October 2015, Tyler Raj Barriss was charged with two felony counts of false report of bomb to a business, one felony count of criminal threats, and one misdemeanor count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Authorities later learned that the call was a hoax, known as swatting, in which people falsely report an emergency to authorities that requires a police response, usually by Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, teams.

At Thursday night's police briefing, Wichita Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Livingston was asked whether this was a "swatting" incident or a prank.

Swatting has gained traction across the country with online gamers. Wichita police were sent to that address, which belonged to Finch, believing someone had killed their father and was holding several other family members hostage.

"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.

"That was the information we were working off of", he said, explaining that officers went to the house ready for a hostage situation and they "got into position". Livingston didn't mention discuss the online game but said investigators were tracking online leads. Those who try to cause the swatting incident will use caller ID spoofing or other techniques to disguise their number as being local.

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Officer Paul Cruz, a spokesman for the Wichita police, said the two city police departments are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the case, but provided no further details including on possible charges or extradition. Finch died a few minutes later at a hospital. He raised them again, and then lowered them for a second time, Livingston said.

"The irresponsible actions of a prankster put people and lives at risk", Livingston said. Chief Livingston said Finch was unarmed. "The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved".

She told The Wichita Eagle that her son had screamed before being shot and insisted he did not play video games.

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

Lisa Finch on Friday told reporters "that cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place".

While there's no confirmation yet that Barriss is "SWauTistic", the Twitter user who claimed to be one of the Call of Duty players and admitted to Krebs On Security's Brian Krebs that he was the one who made the call, the LA Times has found that Barriss has a history of such pranks. Due to the action of a prankster, we have an innocent victim.

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