On Thursday, a man whose address was sent to an alleged swatter by a Call of Duty player following an online dispute over $1.50 became the victim of a police raid, which ended in the tragic loss of his life. The alleged swatter called in a fake hostage situation on the home address of Andrew Finch, who was unarmed at the time of the fatal shooting.
Following the incident, the swatter gave an interview with Daniel “Keemstar” Keem of the YouTube channel, DramaAlert, acknowledging his role in the tragedy. He refused to take responsibility for the man’s death.
He was identified by gamers on social media following the incident as 25-year-old Tyler Raj Barriss, who was charged in 2015 for making a false bomb threat. Despite hiding the lower half of his face with a bandana, gamers were able to identify the suspect based on his avatar, which they compared to his two-year-old mugshot, and reported him to the police.
The LAPD took Barriss into custody following the reports on Friday afternoon on a fugitive warrant stemming from the deadly incident.
Law enforcement sources told local press that Barriss provided police with the same testimony he did during his interview with Keem.
During the 911 call, the alleged swatter claimed that his father had been shot in the head, and that he was holding his mother and sister at gunpoint. Officers descended upon the home anticipating a hostage situation but were instead greeted by Andrew Finch, who was shot when he moved his hand toward the area of his waistband, according to Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston.
Livingstone said that Finch was unarmed. “Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” he said, adding that the police officer who shot him is on paid leave pending an investigation.
“We believe this incident is a case of ‘swatting,’” Livingston said at the time, calling the shooting “a tragic and senseless act. He stated that “the incident is a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department.”
The FBI estimates that roughly 400 cases of swatting occur annually in the United States, some of which “spoof” their Caller ID to mislead law enforcement agencies.
Source: ABC 7 News.