A Kansas man admitted to making the prank emergency call that resulted in police shooting an innocent man in front of his home last year.
Per The Wichita Eagle, Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty to 51 federal charges not only related to the December 2017 death of Andrew Finch, 28, but for reporting fake bomb threats, murders, and other violent incidents at schools, television stations, and malls across the country.
Engadget reported that Casey Viner, 18, contacted Barriss following a dispute during a game of Call of Duty: WWII with a $1.50 bet. Viner allegedly asked Barriss to make a “swatting” call against Shane Gaskill, 20, unaware that Gaskill had provided a previous address.
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“Please try some s**t. I’ll be waiting,” Gaskill wrote in direct messages, according to the Associated Press.
Using a modified number, Barriss—who was in California—called the Wichita Police Department and claimed he fatally shot his father, and said he was was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint. He threatened to light the house on fire before killing himself, according to The Eagle.
Believing the call was legitimate, police rushed to the Wichita home as Finch reportedly went outside to see what the flashing lights were about. Officer Justin Rapp fatally shot the father of two from across the street after police said he failed to put his hands up and comply with their commands.
Rapp testified that he didn’t see a gun on Finch but had no indication that the emergency call was a prank. The newspaper reported that Rapp was cleared of any criminal misconduct earlier this year.
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told the newspaper that he’ll be recommending a 20-year sentence for Barriss if he writes sincere apology letters to Finch’s family, 911 dispatchers, and police. Sentencing is scheduled for January 30.
“Without ever stepping foot in Wichita, the defendant created a chaotic situation that quickly turned from dangerous to deadly,” McAllister said in a news release issued to the Associated Press. “His reasons were trivial and his disregard for the safety of other people was staggering.”
Bariss will be tried in a Kansas court next year for an involuntary manslaughter charge related to Finch’s death. As part of the recent plea deal, prosecutors in California, Kansas, and Washington, D.C., agreed to not file additional criminal charges against the 26-year-old.
Engadget reported that Barriss’ alleged co-conspirators, Viner and Gaskill, pleaded not guilty. Their trial is scheduled to begin on January 8.
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[Featured Image: Tyler Barriss/Glendale Police Department]