25-Year-Old Gamer Arrested for Deadly ‘Swatting’ Prank
Police have arrested a 25-year-old man in Los Angeles for calling in a prank 911 call that resulted in the death of an innocent man.
25-year-old Tyler Barriss was taken into custody by the LAPD Friday for phoning in a fake hostage situation, resulting in police action that killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch of Wichita, Kansas. NBC News reports that Barriss called the police after an altercation with another player on 'Call of Duty', and planned to "Swat" the other player in retaliation. "Swatting" is the practice of reporting a hostage situation at another person's home in order to draw the SWAT team to that location. Officials say there are roughly 400 incidents of "swatting" each year.
Barriss called police in Wichita, mistaking Finch for the player he had an argument with, and saying that he had shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and sister at gunpoint. When officers arrived at Finch's house, he answered the door and was instructed to put his hands up. An officer shot Finch, who was unarmed, when he thought Finch was reaching for his waistband.
Engadget reports that Barriss has a history of calling in threats, bragging that he had called in bomb threats to TV stations and a 'Call of Duty' event in Dallas.