California man sentenced to 20 years for fatal ‘swatting’ of Kansas man

connectVideoPolice: Hoax 911 call resulted in a fatal shooting

A California man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after making false emergency calls to the authorities in the country that led to the fatal shooting of a Kansas man by the police.

Tyler R. Barriss, 26, admitted last November to call Wichita police of Los Angeles at the end of 2017 to falsely report a shooting and kidnapping at the Kansas home, where the 28-year-old Andrew Finch lived. He pleaded guilty to a total of 51 federal charges related to the fake phone calls and threats.

Tick answered the door when police descended on his home, and an officer shot the unarmed man.


FILE – In this May 22, 2018, file photo, Tyler, Barriss, California, for a preliminary hearing in Wichita, Kan. Barriss, who pleaded guilty to 51 charges in connection with the false alarm calls and threats, will be sentenced in federal court in Wichita, Friday, March 29, 2019, and could face dozens of years in prison.
(Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

Authorities say Finch was not involved in the dispute, nor the play of the “Call of Duty: the second world WAR” video game when he opened the door. The police said an Ohio gamer recruited Barriss “swat” – or the report of a false distress call to get the authorities to descend on a address.

However, the address they used was old.

The target group in Wichita, Shane Gaskill, 20, and the man who allegedly recruited Barriss, Casey Viner, 19, of North-Hill College, Ohio, are charged as co-conspirators.

The authorities say that Viner provided Barriss with an address for Gaskill that Gaskill had previously given to Viner. Authorities also say that when Gaskill noticed that Barriss was to follow him on Twitter, he gave Barriss that old address, and taunted him to “try something.”

Viner and Gaskill pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice, wire fraud and other counts. Viner has informed the court that he intends to change that plea at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Gaskill, the process is postponed to the 23 April to the middle of the plea discussions with federal prosecutors.


Finch’s family has sued the city of Wichita and the unidentified officers involved. The police said the officer who shot Finch thought he was for the reach of a pistol because he moved a hand to his waistband. Prosecutors declined to charge the officer.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledged swatting as an emerging threat back in 2008, noting it had become common among gamers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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