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Suspect in Call of Duty 'Swatting' Death to be Extradited to Kansas to Face Charges

Rolling Stone is reporting that Tyler Barriss, a 25-year-old Californian, has waived extradition to Kansas and is headed to Wichita to face "making false alarm" charges as a result of a false 9-1-1 report to local police that a hostage situation was in progress. As a result of the "prank", all based on a feud within Call of Duty, a local resident named Andrew Finch was shot and killed by police in what has been termed "swatting".

Here is our initial coverage at GameSpace:

Swatting is the term used by gamers when one player makes a fake 9-1-1 call and directs police to the address of a person who may have offended them in an online game. According to police, a Kansas City man may have been the victim of a swatting incident resulting from an argument while playing Call of Duty.

The Kansas City Police Department received a 9-1-1 call alleging that a family was being held hostage after the father had been killed by an intruder. When the SWAT team arrived and a man, Andrew Finch, answered the door, an officer shot him. He died not long after in a local hospital. He leaves behind two children aged 2 and 7. The officer who shot Finch has been placed on administrative leave until the completion of the investigation.

However, this comes with a tragic twist: The man killed was not involved in the dispute between the CoD players. The player who was the “target” of the offended player had provided the latter with a false address that led the police to Finch’s home.

“Someone tried to SWAT me and got an innocent man killed, the person said on Twitter according to Rolling Stone.

Several players later took to Twitter claiming that one gamer had made the call, but rather than giving his own address, he gave what he thought was the address of the other player with whom he had been arguing. Responding to users, the person wrote, “I didn’t get anyone killed because I didn’t discharge a weapon and being a SWAT member isn’t my profession”. The account has been suspended.

Andrew Finch’s mother, Lisa Finch, told The Wichita Eagle her son wasn’t armed when he answered the door Thursday. She also said he wasn’t a part of the gaming community. “He doesn’t play video games,” Finch said. “He has better things to do with his time.”

According to NBC News the family is concerned that the entire incident is thoroughly investigated:

"Transportation of Mr. Barris back to the State of Kansas will now be arranged between the Sheriff’s Department of Los Angeles County, California and the Sheriff’s Department of Sedgwick County, Kansas," Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Finch's family's lawyer said they intend to sue the officer who fired the fatal shot and the Wichita police.

"Tyler should be held criminally responsible for the swatting," attorney Andrew Stroth said Wednesday in an interview with NBC News. "But this is about the officer who shot and killed Andy... How could the police not be prepared for a situation like this? The police need to be better at vetting these kinds of situations."

Barriss was arrested in Los Angeles last Friday after Finch's death Thursday night. 

According to NBC News the family is concerned that the entire incident is thoroughly investigated:

This is not the first time Barriss has been accused of making false 9-1-1 calls to police. He was previously arrested in 2015 for making bomb threats to a local LA television station and is reported to have made a similar call during a Call of Duty tournament, though no further details are available.

You can read more about this tragic incident at any of the links above.

 

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom