JammedUp News

News

Gamer behind deadly Call of Duty ‘swatting prank’ blames cop for death of Kansas man

December 31, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Gamer behind deadly Call of Duty ‘swatting prank’ blames cop for death of Kansas man

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

Man arrested for “swatting prank” blames police for fatal shooting of Kansas man

A California man responsible for making a “swatting prank” call that led police to the home of an innocent man who was shot and killed by officers over an online gaming dispute claims it was not his fault that cops killed the victim.

On Friday, authorities in Los Angeles took 25-year-old Tyler Raj Barriss into custody. The suspect was gamer who they claim placed a prank call that led a SWAT team to fatally shoot 28-year-old Andy Finch in Kansas.

“I believe that I didn’t cause someone to die,” Barriss said during an interview on the DramaAlert YouTube channel on Friday.

“Of course, I was involved,” he confessed to DramaAlert. The interview with the YouTube channel happened before authorities took him into custody on Friday night.

“The call was made by me, but as far as the incident, you could point the finger at different people. You could point the finger at the cop that shot him, at the guy who made the call. You could point the finger at the person that gave the address,” he continued.

Andy’s loved ones have been left heartbroken.

His brother, Jerome, said that Andy had been turning his life around in the past few years. Most of his childhood was spent in foster care; he served time in juvenile detention and part of his adult life behind bars after he was sentenced for the criminal discharge of a gun.

Barriss was charged in the shooting death of Andy Finch

“For this to happen, when he’s bouncing back from all the things that have happened, the things he had to go through, the trials, the struggles he had to overcome, then for this to happen,” Jerome added.

“Andy was loyal and kind and would do whatever needed to be done. Family meant a lot to him. He was trying to do the right thing,” his mother, Lisa Finch, said.

Investigators allege that Barriss called 911 and made up a story about a hostage crisis in a Wichita, Kansas residence.

Barriss then gave dispatchers Finch’s address.

Barriss reportedly engaged in a method known in the gaming world as “swatting” – or sending a SWAT team to the residence of another individual by claiming there is an emergency.

Police sources told NBC News that Barriss became involved in a conflict with another gamer.

As revenge, he gave authorities what he believed to be the address of the individual with whom he argued with. Instead, the address was Finch’s, who had nothing to do with the dispute.

When Finch opened his front door on Thursday, he was shot and killed by a responding officer.

Barriss has had previous run-ins with law enforcement. In 2015, he pleaded not guilty to charges of calling in a fake bomb threat that led to the evacuation of a local TV news station.

Andrew Finch was shot dead by police on Thursday.

He was taken into custody on Friday after the LAPD went to the rehab facility where he was staying.

Over a dozen people involved in the online gaming world have said that a dispute between two Call of Duty players over a $2 bet caused one to begin the “swat.”

Wichita authorities received a 911 call that a father had been shot and the shooter was holding his mother, brother and sister captive.

“That was the information we were working off of,” Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said.

In the call published by law enforcement, the caller says to the dispatcher: “They were arguing, I shot him in the head, and he’s not breathing.”

The dispatcher told him to put the firearm down.

The caller said it was “an accident” and continued: “I’m pointing the gun at them, making sure that they stay in the closet, my mom, and my little brother.”

He then threatened to burn the house: “I might pour gasoline all over the house; set it on fire,” before the caller hung up.

Police were dispatched to the home and planned for a hostage situation. Bodycam video showed that when Finch opened his door, he was shot by an officer.

Livingston didn’t indicate what caused the cop to shoot the man or whether the man was armed. No one else was injured.

Lisa Finch said that her son, Andrew, was not armed when he opened the door on Thursday night after he heard a noise.

She said he shouted and was shot. She said the family then was forced outside with no shoes in the freezing cold and that her grandchild was forced to walk over her dying uncle.

Police are looking into whether it was a “swatting” incident or prank.

A spokesperson revealed that a company that manages online gaming competitions is helping law enforcement as they investigate the fatal shooting.

UMG Gaming manages online gaming tournaments, including one for Call of Duty.

“We woke to horrible news about an innocent man losing his life,” Shannon Gerritzen, a UMG vice president, said.

“Our hearts go out to his loved ones. We are doing everything to assist authorities in this matter.”

Some bogus calls to police can be a felony punishable by up to 13 months behind bars for a first-time offender in Kansas.

“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED… I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION,” one gamer said on Twitter, who others claim made the swatting call.

“That kids house I swatted is on the news,” the same account, which has since been suspended, tweeted.

It appears that one of the gamers might have given authorities a false address, and Finch lived in the residence.

The person who was supposed to be the victim of the prank said: “Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed.”

Get the latest news from the world of crime