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Suspect in deadly "SWATting" prank served time for phony bomb report

A California man could be brought to court Tuesday, accused of a prank 911 call in Kansas that led to a deadly police shooting. Tyler Barriss, 25, was arrested in Los Angeles on Friday, one day after police shot and killed a man at a house in Wichita. Barriss, who served jail time last year for making a phony bomb report, allegedly told police that hostages were inside the home. 

The family of the dead man, Andrew Finch, said he didn't even play video games and wasn't the intended target of the prank known as "SWATting," when someone falsely reports a major crime to 911, hoping to incite a massive police response.


Moments after Finch stepped onto his front porch, he was shot dead by a Wichita police officer, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. His mother, Lisa Finch, believes her 28-year-old son was murdered by police.

"They didn't knock on the door. My son opened it because he heard something. He screamed and then they shot him," she said.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said the officer opened fire because he thought the unarmed father of two was reaching for a weapon.

"The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved," Livingston said, adding, "Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim."

Officers arrived at Finch's home around 6:30 p.m. Thursday night. They were responding to a 911 caller who claimed he had killed his father and was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint.

"I already poured gasoline all over the house. I might just set it on fire," the caller could be heard saying.

"OK, well, we don't need to do that, OK?" the 911 dispatcher responded.

"In a little bit, I might," the caller responded.

"Why would you do that?" the dispatcher asked.

"Do you have my address correct?" the caller said.

A Twitter user named @SWAuTistic later said he made the false 911 calls, adding: "I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION."

He also told this YouTube host he had been hired for the prank.

"I don't believe that I'm the only guilty party involved in this whole incident, considering I was contacted and...almost instructed to SWAT an address," he said.

SWAuTistic is believed to be Barriss, who was arrested in 2015 for making bomb threats.

Online gamers say he intended to prank someone who played the video game, Call of Duty, but SWAuTistic claims he was given Finch's address.

SWATting has also targeted celebrities like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. The FBI estimates 400 cases of SWATting happen each year, but they are rarely deadly.

"I keep thinking that this is a dream and that I'm going to wake up and he is going to be here. But the cops just can't go around shooting people without any consequences," Finch said.

The officer who fired the deadly shot has been with the Wichita police for seven years. In accordance with the department's policy on deadly police shootings, he has been placed on administrative leave.

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