In December, a dispute following an online wagered Call of Duty match resulted in the death of a 28-year-old Kansas man after a faked call led a SWAT team to his house. Los Angeles police quickly arrested Tyler Barriss, the man responsible for making the call, and this week, he was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and two additional counts.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Barriss made his first appearance in a Kansas courtroom on Friday, where authorities charged him with involuntary manslaughter, giving false alarm and interference with law enforcement. He will appear in court later this month. District Attorney Marc Bennett noted that a decision hasn’t been reached regarding the role of the Call of Duty player who provided Barriss with Finch’s address. Bennett explained in a press conference that the investigation into the conduct of the officer who killed Finch is still under review.
Wichita resident Andrew Finch was killed after Barriss placed the fake call to the Wichita Police Department, claiming that he had killed his father during a family dispute and that he was holding his family hostage. Barriss has a history of making bomb threats, and was provided with Finch’s address by one participant in an online feud. Finch was not involved in the feud.
Swatting is an incident in which someone calls a police department with a false report, one designed to scramble a SWAT team or other armed response. There have been several high-profile incidents in recent years, but this is believed to be the first time one has resulted in the death of a target.