Wichita police said 25-year-old Tyler Barriss is the man behind the bogus 911 phone call that led to the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch. There was no hostage situation, but police say they shot and killed a man who answered the door and reached for his waistband several times.
The call was made by an online "swatter", a term used to describe someone who makes false police calls in an attempt to get SWAT teams to raid peoples homes and scare them... sometimes people die though.The incident happened over a Call of Duty wager of $1.50 (yes, a dollar and 50 cents, that's not a typo), an argument ensued and one of the players said they were going to swat the other player.
UMG Gaming operates online gaming tournaments, including one for the Call of Duty game. Police found that Finch was unarmed, and inside were four family members, healthy and not at all in harm's way as suggested.
Finch's mum Lisa said her son was "murdered".
The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy, as the incident is investigated.
It appears that those responsible might have been two Call of Duty players who were competing in a $1.50 money match last night, based on Twitter screencaps shared among the Call of Duty community.
"What gives the cops the right to open fire?" she asked. "We are doing everything we can to assist the authorities".
"We woke this morning to awful news about an innocent man losing his life", UMG spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an email to The Associated Press.
The following is a the 911 audio and video of the officer involved shooting we release today during our press conference, please be advised the following video contains graphic content, viewer discretion is advised. It was hard to see clearly what happened. In October 2015, Glendale police arrested a 22-year-old man with the same name for making bomb threats to KABC-TV. Jail records show he was released in January.
The FBI estimates that about 400 cases of swatting occur annually, with some using caller ID spoofing to disguise their number. An FBI supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri, which covers all of Kansas, said the agency joined in the investigation at the request of local police.
The phenomenon of swatting, anonymous reports of fake hostage situations, shootings and other violent crimes, has grown in recent years, particularly among online gamers and hackers.
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced an anti-swatting bill in 2015 - then was herself the victim of swatting. Salter reported from St. Louis.