Man Arrested in Connection to Hoax 911 Phone Call that Led to Death of Innocent Man: Reports
A man has been arrested in Los Angeles in connection to a hoax phone call that led to the of an unarmed man in Wichita, Kansas, according to multiple reports
A man has been arrested in Los Angeles in connection to a hoax phone call that led to the death of an unarmed man in Wichita, Kansas, according to multiple reports.
ABC 7 reported that the Los Angeles Police Department arrested 25-year-old Tyler Barriss on Friday. Barriss was reportdly arrested on suspicion of having made a false phone call about a shooting and kidnapping that resulted in the death of a man authorities in Wichita identified as Andrew Finch, 28.
On Friday, Wichita Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said that police believed the call was a case of “swatting,” which occurs when somebody makes a prank call to authorities in the hopes of getting a SWAT team response, according to KWCH12.
“Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim,” Livingston said.
The LAPD and the Wichita Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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According to the 911 recording which was released by the Wichita Police Department, the caller said his father had been shot in the head and that the shooter was holding him and the rest of his family — his mom and a sibling — at gunpoint. The caller also added that the shooter had threatened to light their house on fire.
KWCH12 reported that the Wichita police said that after they arrived at the address given by the 911 call, Finch came to the door.
According to the BBC, one round was fired by a police officer after the 28-year-old appeared to move his hands towards his waistband multiple times after being told to keep his hands in the air. Finch was pronounced dead at a local hospital and was found to be unarmed.
KWCH12 reported that Finch’s mother Lisa said that her son was not given a verbal warning prior to the shooting.
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According to Fortune, the “swatting” call was made following an argument in the online game Call of Duty alongside a $1.50 bet. The Wichita Eagle reported that Finch’s family said Andrew did not play video games.
According to Los Angeles arrest records, Barris had been arrested before in 2015. According to Fortune, Barris had been accused for making hoax calls to the police in the past, including bomb threats. He also was reportedly behind a bomb threat during the FCC hearing on net neutrality earlier this month that briefly delayed the meeting, according to Fortune.
A person claiming to the perpetrator said in an interview with YouTube channel DramaAlert that he had been asked to make the call by one of the people in the Call of Duty argument but wasn’t actually involved in the argument himself.
The Kansas City FBI, which is also investigating the case according to multiple reports, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
“The incident was a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department,” said Wichita Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Livingston according to the BBC. “We don’t see it as a joke, it’s not a prank. It heightened the awareness of the officers, and we think it led to this deadly encounter.”