The man responsible for “Swatting” an innocent Kansas man’s home Thursday that resulted in his death at the hands of the police was arrested Friday night in Los Angeles. Tyler Raj Barriss, 25, was taken into custody by the LAPD and has a history of making similar hoax calls.
The LAPD is currently working with the Wichita police department on the case and NBC News reported that the FBI has joined the investigation as well. Bail has not yet been set for Barriss.
As previously covered, 28-year old Andrew Finch was at home with his family in Wichita, Kansas Thursday evening when police surrounded it in response to a call about a murder and hostage situation. Finch went outside to check on the commotion when he was shot and killed.
In a statement, the Wichita police said Finch was unarmed but “lowered his arms to his waist multiple times when told to raise them.” The 7-year veteran police officer who fired the shot is currently on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated.
A family member of Andrew Finch has set up a GoFundMe page to cover his funeral expenses. It is currently more than halfway to its $15,000 goal in less than one day. A candlelight vigil is also being held outside of the father of two’s home Saturday night at 5 p.m. local time, per a Facebook post.
A Call of Duty player named “Baperizer”) got into a feud with a fellow Call of Duty: WWII teammate after they lost a match and a $1.50 wager on the UMG Gaming website. The feud escalated when his teammate, “Miruchle,” doxxed “Baperizer.” “Miruchle” then gave his teammate a false address and dared him to do something. “Baperizer” gave the incorrect address to Barriss to “swat” his opponent in the feud.
The Wichita police were called by Barriss where he falsely claimed to have killed his father with a gun and was holding his mother and little brother hostage in a closet, according to the 911 call released by the Wichita police. The false address he gave the police was Finch’s home, who was not involved in the dispute in any way, and multiple officers deployed to the house expecting to encounter a hostile hostage situation.
Daniel Keem of YouTube channel DramaAlert interviewed Barriss Friday prior to the arrest. Using the Xbox LIVE alias “SWAuTistic”, Barriss admitted calling the police but argued he was not the only one to blame and it was not he who pulled the trigger.
“The argument can be made that the police would never have shown up if I hadn’t made the call. However, I don’t believe I’m the only guilty party involved in this whole incident considering I was contacted and almost instructed to swat, and taunted to swat,” the Call of Duty player attempted to explain.
However, Barriss has a history of hoax calls. He admits to calling in a bomb threat to an MLG Call of Duty World League tournament in Dallas earlier this year that led to the evacuation of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. Additionally, the Los Angeles Times reports he was arrested in 2015 for calling in a bomb threat to the local ABC station in Glendale, Los Angeles. He was living in a transitional recovery center at the time of his arrest.
Swatting, or calling the police to report a non-existent crime to frighten and intimidate the targeted address, has been a common problem in the online gaming community and with Hollywood celebrities for many years. In gaming, streamers have frequently been swatting and hoax call targets along with certain game developers, but they have not turned deadly until now.