Just before the new year, the gaming community was mortified to learn that an innocent Kansas man had been shot by police following a fake crime report targeting the victim’s residence over a video game – i.e., a swatting incident that actually came to its intended deadly end. Now, the caller, 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well as with giving false alarm and interfering with a police officer.
According to original reports, Barriss was intending to target a Call of Duty player over a bet. His doxxing attempt went awry when he was given the wrong address for his victim, and so when he phoned police with his long and drawn out story about a murder/hostage/arson in progress, he sent them to the house of a completely unrelated father of two, Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door.
It is not clear yet whether the officer who killed Finch will be charged; he is currently on paid administrative leave. Finch’s family has disputed law enforcement’s recounting of the events and blames the officer. The district attorney says he’s waiting on the completed autopsy report before deciding whether to hold police accountable as well.
Barriss reportedly has a documented history of swatting, including a case in Canada.