Calif. 'swatting' suspect booked into Kan. jail

Tyler Barriss is accused of reporting a fake homicide and hostage situation that led to the fatal shooting of Andrew Finch

By Nichole Manna
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — The man accused of making the “swatting” call that ended in Wichita police shooting and killing an unarmed man last month was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter Thursday afternoon.

In Kansas, involuntary manslaughter can be charged when a person kills another unintentionally but the death is the result of reckless conduct or a felony crime.

Wichita authorities picked up Tyler Barriss, 25, from the Men’s Central jail in Los Angeles at 8:53 a.m. Central time Thursday, according to booking reports there. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.

Barriss waived extradition to Kansas last week. A fugitive-from-justice warrant filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors says Barriss was charged in Kansas on Dec. 29 with the felony of making a false alarm.

It wasn’t known that week what charges Barriss could face in Kansas. The Sedgwick County Jail shows he’s booked on a warrant for involuntary manslaughter, giving a false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer.

He is accused of reporting a fake homicide and hostage situation to the Wichita Police Department just after 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 28.

Reports say Barriss was called by someone after a feud between two Call of Duty players broke out over a virtual “friendly kill” during a game earlier that day. There was a $1.50 wager over the game.

One of the players allegedly called Barriss and requested he “swat” another player. A man claiming he was responsible for the swatting said he was given an address on McCormick Street by another player, he said during an interview with the DramaAlert channel on YouTube.

Swatting is the term when someone calls police with a fake story of a serious ongoing crime – like a killing, hostage situation or bomb threat – in an effort to draw a large police presence to an address. It has gained traction in recent years among online gamers.

Police went to the address, expecting to find a homicide victim and two hostages. Instead, Andrew Finch, 28, opened his front door when he saw police lights outside and didn’t know why. Wichita police say he was given commands to keep his hands raised, but he reached toward his waistline multiple times.

When he raised his hands suddenly, police say, a officer who was standing in a driveway across the street shot him.

©2018 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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