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Man arrested in ‘Call of Duty ‘swatting’ hoax that led to fatal police shooting

The police in Wichita, Kan., are pictured at the scene of an officer-involved shooting was believed prompted by a “swatting” prank, Dec. 28, 2017.

(Wichita Eagle via Associated Press)

A 25-year-old California man was arrested in connection with an online argument between two “Call of Duty” gamers who asked for a hoax call that led to a man being killed by the police in Kansas.

Los Angeles police on Friday arrested Tyler Barriss, who law enforcement claimed to be the “prankster” who 911 and a story about a kidnapping in Wichita, ABC 7 reported.

Barriss allegedly gave the police the address that he believed that the other gamer lived.

In the audio of the 911 call, the caller claimed that his father was shot in the head and that he is with his mother and a brother or sister at gunpoint. The caller added that he poured gasoline in the house and “perhaps in the fire.”

Here is the 911 call that lead to the deadly swatting in Kansas. https://t.co/nXG1WUKKsa

— Candi Bolden (@CandiBolds) December 30, 2017

The address was for the house of Andrew Finch, 28, of whom the police believed, was not involved in the argument of “Call of Duty.”

Wichita Deputy police chief Troy Livingston, speaking at a press conference, said the hoax call was a case of ‘swatting’, where a person makes a false report to get a SWAT team to descend on an address.

Lisa Finch, the victim, the mother, told reporters her son was not a gamer.

(AP)

“By the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” Livingston said. He said: no one has been arrested in connection with the hoax.

When officers arrived on the scene, Finch opened the door for the agents. If the police told him to put his hands up, Finch moved a hand to the area of his waistband – a common place where weapons are concealed. An officer, fearing the man was reaching for a gun, fired a single shot. Finch died a few minutes later in a hospital and was found unarmed, Livingston said.

The agent who fired the shot, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.

The police has no information about the name of the man shot Thursday night, but Lisa Finch, Andrew ‘ s mother, identified him. She told reporters Friday her son was not a gamer.

“What gives the police the right to open fire?” she asked. “That cop killed my son over a false report in the first place.”

Livingston on Friday, said the researchers had made good progress with the tracking of online leads.

Dexerto, an online news service focused on gaming, reported that the series of events began with an online argument more than a $1 or $2 bet in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG Gaming, which is active in online tournaments, including one with “Call of Duty.”

“We woke up this morning to the terrible news about an innocent man losing his life,” a UMG spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Our hearts go out to his loved ones. We will do everything we can to help the authorities in this case.” She refused to reveal other details.

In addition to the 911 call, the police also released a short video of the body of the images from the camera of another officer on the scene. It was difficult to see clearly what happened.

The FBI estimates that about 400 cases of swatting occur per year, with a number using caller ID spoofing to hide their number.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah, Kathleen Joyce and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Benjamin Brown is a reporter from Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.

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