Police in Wichita, Kansas, say a prankster who lured police to a home in a "swatting" incident is responsible for a fatal officer-involved shooting.
Police in Los Angeles and Wichita, Kansas, confirmed in statements emailed Saturday the arrest of 25-year-old Tyler Barriss. The Los Angeles resident was arrested in 2015 for calling in a bomb threat, while SWauTistic has claimed credit for several past swatting hoaxes, as well as a making bomb threats at a MLG Call of Duty event at the Dallas Convention Center earlier this month.
At a little after 6 p.m. on Thursday, dispatch in Wichita received a call from a man who said that he had just shot his father in the head and that he was holding his mother and little brother hostage. When police surrounded a house at the valid Wichita address, a confused 28-year-old man, Andrew Finch, stumbled out his front door.
Livingston, the deputy police chief, said investigators believe the prank call was a case of "swatting", in which a 911 caller intends to deceive law enforcement about an alleged serious emergency. In 2013 a 12-year-old Southern California boy admitted to making swatting calls to the homes of actor Ashton Kutcher and singer Justin Bieber. He raised and dropped his hands multiple times before an officer opened fire, killing the man with one shot, Livingston said.
The caller also said he had a handgun and had poured fuel over the house and wanted to set the property on fire. Armed officers in 2016 responded to an anonymous call claiming an active shooter was at Clark's home.
The hoax call was reportedly sparked by an online argument about a wager in a Call of Duty game. 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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The man was taken to a local hospital where he died, Livingston says.
"The police said, 'Come out with your hands up, '" she added. "The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department".
She told The Wichita Eagle that her son had screamed before being shot and insisted he did not play video games. Livingston said Finch was unarmed. "That cop murdered my son over a false report".
"The irresponsible actions of the prankster put people and lives at risk", he said. "If the false police call had not been made, we would not have been there".
"We woke this morning to terrible news about an innocent man losing his life", Shannon Gerritzen, a UMG vice president, said in an email to The Associated Press.
Lisa Finch told the newspaper she and her family were handcuffed, taken outside and placed into separate police cruisers.