A California man will spend 20 years in federal prison for making a prank call to Kansas police that resulted in a man’s shooting death.
According to NBC News, Tyler Barriss, 26, was sentenced Friday for 51 charges related to various prank calls he made, including one that directly resulted in the December 2017 death of Andrew Finch, 28.
Using a modified number and providing Finch’s address, Barriss called police and claimed he fatally shot his father and said he was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint. He threatened to light the house on fire before killing himself, according to The Wichita Eagle.
A online Call of Duty feud led Tyler Barriss to make a fake 911 call. When police showed up to the address he gave expecting a hostage situation, an officer shot and killed the resident. Today, Barris was sentenced to 20 years for his “swatting” calls. https://t.co/UCT5mLfw4V
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) March 30, 2019
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 asked Barriss to make a “swatting” call against Shane Gaskill, 20, unaware that Gaskill had provided a previous address, according to the Associated Press.
Officer Justin Rapp reportedly shot and killed Finch from across the street as he checked to see what the flashing lights were about. Rapp, who was ultimately cleared of misconduct, alleged the father-of-two failed to raise his hands and comply with verbal commands.
Barriss also “swatted” schools, malls, government buildings, and businesses all over the country. He falsely reported a serious, life-threatening crime to elicit a large police response.
NBC News reported that Barriss was sentenced to five years of supervised release for charges in Washington, D.C., for making fake bomb threats to the FBI headquarters and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2017. The sentence will run concurrently to the other sentences.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett announced that state charges connected to Finch’s death have been dismissed in light of Friday’s sentencing, The Wichita Eagle reported.
“We hope that this will send a strong message about swatting, which is a juvenile and senseless practice,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister during a news conference, according to NBC News. “We’d like to put an end to it within the gaming community and any other context. Swatting, as I’ve said before, is not a prank.”
[Featured Image: Tyler Barriss/Handout; Andrew Finch/GoFundMe]