A Los Angeles man is behind bars and facing involuntary manslaughter charges after making a “swatting” call to police in Kansas and posing as someone else. The prank ended with a Wichita man dead.
ABC7 reports that Tyler Barriss, 25, said he now regrets making that fatal call that led police to a stranger’s home 1500 miles away. Barris allegedly called Wichita, Kansas, police in Dec. and fabricated a story about a kidnapping and shooting. The call led police to the home of 28-year-old Andrew Finch after Barris, posing as the victim, told authorities he shot his dad and was holding his sister and mother hostage.
When police arrived to Finch’s home, they opened fire when Finch walked outside and reached toward his waistband. Authorities were treating the incident as a hostile situation due to the details Barriss reportedly made up during the 911 call. Finch later died from gunshot wounds.
— Madeline Finch (@themadfinch) January 9, 2018
“Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said shortly after the incident.
While speaking to ABC7 from jail last week, Barriss, now facing a felony charge, said he wished he could take it all back.
“I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed. I just wish I could have rewound somehow and just never done it.”
Barris, linked to another swatting call in Canada, reportedly admitted that people paid him in the past to make swatting calls. He refused to say who paid him and denied any other motive. He also refused to say whether he was paid to make the Kansas call.
“There’s no inspiration. I don’t get bored and decide to make a SWAT call.”
Meanwhile, KSN reports that Civil Rights Attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who represents the Finch family, blames the Wichita Police Department (WPD) for the deadly shooting and not Barris. Stroth stated that the call didn’t get Finch killed, but instead the “reckless” conduct and decisions made by WPD.
“Mr. Barriss didn’t shoot Andy Finch. An officer within the Wichita Police Department shot Andy Finch. The Wichita Police Department bears responsibility for the use of excessive, reckless, unreasonable and lethal force.”
Stroth said he wants to see Barriss held accountable for his part, but ultimately, he thinks the responsibility for the victim’s death lies with the officers who shot him.
“Two young children lost their father because of the unjustified actions of a Wichita police officer. How can you in America in 2017 open your door and get shot and killed by an officer of the law?”
Barris remains behind bars on one felony involuntary manslaughter charge.
[Feature Photo: Tyler Barris/Police Handout]