Call of Duty swatting murder sees three men charged in federal court

    
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At the end of 2017, a Call of Duty swatting incident in Kansas took the life of a completely innocent man after police killed him following a fake tip to the wrong address, but it does appear that multiple people will finally be held responsible.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. 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. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat. While in prison, Barriss even tweeted out new threats.

When last we covered the legal developments of the story, we noted that the police officer who shot and killed Finch wouldn’t be charged; the district attorney says multiple officers thought Finch was reaching for a gun, thereby justifying the shots fired (which you’ll note doesn’t quite comport with the original reporting). Finch’s family is lodging a civil suit to that end.

We’d also reported that the pair of Call of Duty players – including the one who supposedly asked for the other to be swatted and delivered the fake address – wouldn’t be charged. That appears to no longer be the case. According to the LA Times, federal prosecutors charged both Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill along with Barriss. The government alleges that Viner asked Barriss to carry out the swatting call, while Gaskill provided the address. The duo will face down charges of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice (apparently, they all tried to delete their tweets and/or wipe their phones), while Viner alone will meet one count of making a false report. The charges could lead to 20 years in prison apiece.

Interestingly, the LA Times says Viner was also involved in other swatting incidents before now (previously, it was Barriss alone who’d stood accused of that).

Barriss himself has been charged with making false reports, cyberstalking, making threats to harm, and six counts of wire fraud. An LAPD detective has already given the court testimony that Barriss confessed to making the call. The defendant faces possible life in prison.

Catch up on the whole story:

Source: LA Times via MMORPG
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ultorius
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ultorius

I hope all those involved do many years in prison. The caller and of course the trigger happy freaks with the badges. Thank god i dont live there. 2 kids are orphans now :/

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Cypher

So he just opens his door and gets riddled with bullets???!?! Shit!
Don’t they have to at least identify themselves? Don’t they have to at least believe their life is in danger before firing? Glad I live in a civilised country!

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Cypher

Ok, maybe that last bit was a little unfair, but seriously? No recon? No warning? Just open door and boom! The focus should be in the cop cos he’s clearly more dangerous to society than anyone in his story!

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I hope that cop gets sued for everything he has.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

While I do partly agree, it will be the station or city that gets sued and not the cop. Which they definitely should, though as much as it shouldn’t have happened, most of the blame goes on the people who make the fake call. The gullible Police thought they were going into a real murder/arson/hostage situation. That doesn’t excuse it at all, but it was all set up by the caller to seem realistic. It was really stupid and shouldn’t have happened and the family definitely needs compensation (of which you can never really give enough after taking away their family member), but it was a horrible mistake and not something done purposely like so many other Police incidents in recent years. This one actually did fear for his life and others, no excuse, but it does make a little bit of a difference.

I’m sure if the cop is a normal person, he’s dying inside from having killed an innocent Father, and he’s going to have to live with that guilt and horror for the rest of his life. While that certainly is not “punishment enough” I do imagine it’s pretty bad for him to deal with. A lone Cop wouldn’t have enough money to be worth suing however, it would have to be the whole Department and City, maybe even State depending.

Who really needs the book thrown at them is the caller, who had zero remorse and actually bragged about it after the guy got killed, and who kept making threats and things right along after he was caught. He’s a true piece of trash that should be in jail for the rest of his life. He actually is someone society needs protection from.

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Sally Bowls

Also

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/24/17391490/net-neutrality-bomb-threat-swatting

According to prosecutors, Barriss called the FCC with false claims that the building was rigged with explosives.

In a dramatic moment before the vote, Chairman Ajit Pai announced to a crowd that proceedings would have to halt as the room was evacuated. The group returned a few minutes later after law enforcement had scanned the area. Barriss allegedly made similar threats to the FBI about a week later.

Barriss was accused of phoning in bomb threats years before the most recent incidents, but there was no apparent link before now between the two high-profile hoaxes. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each bomb threat, as well as several years for charges related to the swatting incident.

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Mr.McSleaz

There is Nothing “Involuntary” about swatting. This kid intended for someone to die.
First Degree Murder should be the charge & the other 2 kids should be charged as accomplices. They knew what they were doing was wrong & all 3 of them intended harm to another Human over a video game.

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MolleaFauss

Was about time.

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Sally Bowls

There is no good news in this tragedy, but IMO this is welcome news – both for justice and to send a strong message of deterrence.

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mike foster

Godspeed on that civil suit — answering the door to screaming cops and shining lights and being shot dead is not a thing that should happen

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rafael12104

Yes! I’ve often wondered why they stopped with just Barris.

And you know what I just love about this? It’s fucking Fed time. Fed prosecutors, Fed courts, and Fed prison time.

Despite what you may have heard, our FBI and Federal courts are freaking awesome if you are on the right side of the law. They are slow, but they don’t put up with shit and do not negotiate if they have their purps.

So, Viner and Gaskill, see you later boys. Don’t worry, the door won’t hit you in the ass because it is a cell door and it slides shut.

I really do hope your trials get set in a hang’em high district so you get the max. Oh, and there is no parole for in Federal prisons; bet you know that now. Am I right?

Godnaz
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Godnaz

At first court appearance, I don’t think he was ready to take his crime seriously because he had gotten away with swatting before without being charged.
http://www.latimes.com/resizer/p_HQXkqADZU7NHjUqx45PJFpozk=/1400×0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VCUBU5AN5BCI5KRS6OZ5P7KY2A.jpg
After serving some time and being extradited to Kansas knowing he’s going to spend some years in prison, you can tell his crime is starting to sink in.
http://www.latimes.com/resizer/G9lQJo6NU2Uro8mJo5lC929FzxM=/1400×0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/QTPZ2HETXJCFNPIHZFZO3NKGYI.jpg

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rafael12104

It looks like a computer thug may have met the real thing.

Sad, but… I have no compassion for him. I feel icky about it. Heh.

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Armsbend

Prision door slams shut:

“What’s up homies? Mah K/D ratio in COD Zombies is 2.43/1. REK-O-NIZE BITCHES!”

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rafael12104

Lol! I’m laughing in my cubicle! So many nerds here would love that comment.

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Utakata

It would of been a safer bet for him if he ran for Congress after the first offense…too late to put on that $5k suit now! o.O

Mewmew
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Mewmew

His Lawyer told him to get a suit and take it more seriously. :P

It’s rare for me to see someone who so wholeheartedly deserves to be in Prison. But there is one now.

I guess you could argue he deserves to be in a mental institution instead (I’m not saying that, but saying maybe there are facts people could come up with that could make that debatable), but society does need protection from people like him and he needs to be locked away one way or another.

Sociopaths and psychopaths seem to act differently than him when caught, he sort of just seems like a piece of defiant human trash that just doesn’t care. So he’s probably a great candidate for actual punishment rather than just worrying about protecting society.

There is enough blame to go around, but definitely most of it is on him. He just doesn’t give two spits and would keep doing it and not caring that people were hurt or killed. A real piece of criminal garbage of the lowest caliber.