Affidavit names two more gamers involved in fatal Call of Duty swatting incident

    
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More details about the fatal Call of Duty swatting incident that took place in Kansas at the tail end of 2017 are coming to light.

You’ll recall that in December, California resident Tyler Barriss allegedly called Wichita, Kansas, police to report a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress, using what he presumably believed to be the address of a Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment. The address used, however, was apparently for a completely unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. The officer who shot Finch was on paid administrative pending investigation as of two weeks ago, when Barriss was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas.

If you were confused over how Barriss became involved, the newly released information has a bit more backstory, as investigators have released an affidavit identifying the the other people involved to some degree in the swatting incident. Kansas resident Shane Gaskill and Ohio resident Casey Viner were involved in a dispute over an online game, believed from early reports to be Call of Duty; following the death of Viner’s character at Gaskill’s character’s hand in a match with a monetary bet on the line, Viner threatened to swat Gaskill on Twitter, who then posted an address in Wichita that was not his and dared Viner to “try some shit.”

It is still not fully clear whether Viner directly asked Barriss to swat the address. “The affidavit says multiple people contacted investigators saying they were seeing a Twitter conversation between the Ohio man and a handle that was found to belong to 25-year-old Tyler Barriss,” KWCH reports. Barriss did tweet an admission of guilt that same evening, and Viner himself is apparently a suspect in multiple Cincinnati swatting incidents. Barriss’ voice is further said to be a match to both the Wichita call and a California bomb threat from several years ago, according to an unnamed FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force officer.

Prosecutors are reportedly still considering whether to charge Gaskill or Viner in conjunction with the swatting incident.

Source: Wichita Eagle via Slashdot. Thanks, Sally!
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Rolan Storm

Despicable.

But I agree with Geo, do not make them serve jail time. Make them pay to family for life, that will be much more efficient punishment. While I do understand (and agreeed at first) they all should be in jail truth is it would be better to help out family by making them pay money rather then make three new cons.

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Phone_Guy

These punks need thrown in jail. They need punished so hard that no one will dare pull this garbage again. I understand the rage at the officer involved in the shooting and its easy to pretend that we would act different or would identify the threat correctly. I just pray to god I am never in that position to have to make that call. One thing to note, the individual who called in the threat is in deeper than most realize. Apparently the 911 audio was submitted to the FBI and the matched his voice to a suspect in Bomb Threat case from 2015.

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Geo Kavu

The swatter should do forced public labor, not jail. A US jail would receive him as a moron and turn him into a real criminal and much bigger burden to society. He should also be made to pay the family of the deceased a certain amount each month for life.
It’s the police officer who should do some hard time in jail, then banned from holding a gun for life. The fact that he is on “paid leave” makes me sick. Essentially, the family of the deceased is paying his murderer through their taxes. So he can enjoy his time off. Disgusting.

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Melissa McDonald

Um, so enlighten us all, what wonderful country’s prison system would be so bloody preferable and rehabilitating?

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Geo Kavu
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Melissa McDonald

I would think most of us are in favour of holding the “swatter”, i.e., perpetrator of the false report, accountable for whatever happens. Property damage, loss of life, etc., they did it for lulz, but let’s see how hard they laugh facing the consequences.

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Sorenthaz

*Looks down at comments.*

Stay classy, Internet.

Ultimately the problem that badly needs addressed is the fact that stupidly thoughtless children are able to make fake threats to the police and force them to respond. This goes beyond the swatting prank and extends into junk like folks calling in fake bomb threats to shut down school/college for a day. It’s honestly screwed up that folks are able to blatantly lie to law enforcement agencies in order to use them as tools of targeted harassment, civilian endangerment, and purposeful disruption of activities/events, and punishment needs to be steeper for these “pranks” since it’s always manipulating police/emergency response crews for malicious/selfish intent. Folks need to become better educated on these “pranks” and figure out a way to filter false claims from the real emergencies.

That’s pretty much the only way this crap will be put to rest. Otherwise it just serves as a twisted form of positive reinforcement to encourage these folks to manipulate police calls whenever they want.

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Jeffery Witman

It used to be that you needed thousands of dollars to hire professional killers. Now you just dial 911 and it’s free.

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Peregrine Falcon

So the police get called in to respond to a hostage situation. – I saw the video. – A man comes out of the house, unarmed and with his hands up. Cop shoots him. For all that cop knows, at the time of the shooting, that man WAS the hostage!

It’s sad really. It used to be that whenever you were in trouble calling the police was always the smart thing to do. Now, not so much. First you have to weigh the risks that the police might just make the situation worse by killing the unarmed and innocent person that was calling for help.

Also, if the police demand that I drop my weapon and surrender, and I know that they just might kill me anyway, then where’s my motivation to surrender?

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Armsbend

The argument against militarization of the police in a nutshell.

There was a time when most humans were hesitant on taking the life of another human. Now I doubt half of the US population would hesitate before killing.

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Bruno Brito

I’m a simple person: If you’re an law enforcer, and you walk with a tool made for the murder of another human being sanctioned by law and the estate, you don’t get second chances, you don’t get to make a mistake, you don’t get to fail.

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shibby523

This is why it should be mandatory for all armed officers to wear a camera recording all their actions while on duty. Too much corruption and cover ups of civilian murders. If an officer kills someone and is not recording, then they and their supervisor should be fired on the spot. Guarantee that will cut down on needless murder.

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Bruno Brito

Yep. I agree.

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Armsbend

Not all city and state budgets are equal. And officers seem remarkably adept at turning them off at the exact moment when they decide to go out a-murderin’.

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Armsbend

There is a solution – just not one people here are willing to take. Outlaw certain types of guns. Every time a crime is committed with an illegal one: destroy it. Then eventually take them away from the cops.

Violence would plummet.

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Bruno Brito

Not a solution, but a good paliative, i’ll give you that.

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Doctor Sweers

Wasn’t the bet for $1.50? Regardless, this is a mess of a situation.

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Angel of Def

Sounds like there needs to be 4 arrests, not 1 and some civil suits thrown around.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

At least the cop is getting sued, thank god.

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Siphaed

Yes, because civil court liabities hold such high standard as to effect the Officer’s ability to retain a public service job, carry a firearm, criminal background history, etc.

Oh wait, it doesn’t.

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Angel of Def

and it’s not like the Police Department or City pay for it either, its going to come out of every tax paying citizens wallet. This whole situation is BS, and the fact the cop is basically going to get off with no real affect on his career makes me cringe even harder.

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Bruno Brito

Knowing how the goddamn USA justice system is working lately, i’m really impressed he even has a chance to lose.

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Mick the Barbarian

He is? I missed that part.