A Kansas man fatally shot by police Thursday was possibly the victim of “swatting,” a prank where someone calls emergency services about a false ongoing crime so that a large police presence goes to a particular house.
The Wichita Eagle reported that an officer shot and killed Andrew Finch, 28, as he exited his home during what police thought was a hostage situation. Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said that they received a call about a man shooting his father in the head and holding his mother captive.
“A male came to the front door,” Livingston said. “As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon.”
Though Livingston wouldn’t reveal whether the 28-year-old father of two was armed, his family told The Eagle that he was unarmed. The man’s mother, Lisa Finch, recalled hearing a gunshot and heading to the side yard. There, she said she was met by an officer who instructed her to come out with her hands up.
“[The officer] took me, my roommate and my granddaughter, who witnessed the shooting and had to step over her dying uncle’s body,” she said.
More than a dozen Twitter users associated with the gaming community told the local paper that the “swatting” prank occurred following a dispute involving two Call of Duty players. Sources claimed the person who was targeted provided the other gamer with a fake address, sending officers to a nearby home.
Screenshots captured by the local paper appear to show a Twitter account talking about the alleged prank. Twitter supposedly suspended the account shortly after the deadly incident.
“That kids house I swatted is on the news,” one tweet read.
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION,” another tweet read.
Andrew appears to be uninvolved with the altercation as his family claimed he didn’t play video games. According to The Eagle, another user who was the supposed target tweeted, “Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed.”
The officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on administrative leave. Officials plan to reveal more details about the incident on Friday.
“We want Andy’s side of the story to be told,” the slain man’s mother commented.
[Featured Image: Andrew Finch/KWCH]