Man Arrested For 'Swatting' Call That Led To Murder Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Barriss was charged today in Kansas for involuntary manslaughter and two other counts in the wake of a swatting call that led police to kill an unarmed 28-year-old at his home. The maximum sentence varies, but if found guilty Barriss could face a hefty fine and years in prison.

Tyler Barriss, 25, appears in extradition court in Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Irfan Khan/AP

Police say that Barriss had called police to report a hostage situation, telling officers on 28 December 2017 that he had his family at gunpoint and had doused the house with petrol. He then gave them an address for 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was shot and killed by an officer when he answered the door. That officer is now on paid administrative leave.

Barriss reportedly made the call after an argument between two Call of Duty players led to one giving the other an address. That player then reportedly gave the address to Barriss, who was known in the community for swatting - making false police reports in order to get officers to show up at an adversary's house. The address turned out to be unrelated to anyone involved with the dispute, however, and instead led police to Finch.

Barriss was also charged with giving false alarm and interference with law enforcement. His bond is set at $US500,000 ($634,608).

Via Sedgwick County inmate records

As Rolling Stone points out, Barriss is also being charged for a swatting incident in Calgary, Canada in late December. Nobody was hurt in that case.


Comments

    Involuntary? Involuntary.

    "Gee whiz, Your Honour, it sure was unavoidable and not my fault that I chose to swat someone." ... Fuck off with that. Hurl the book at this arsehole.

      It's not the swatting that was involuntary, that's what the other two charges cover. The involuntary manslaughter covers the fact he didn't intend the guy to die (which is likely true) but the death was nevertheless caused by his recklessness and/or criminal negligence.

      Depending on his criminal history, the average sentence could vary from 52-130 months (4-11 years) for that particular charge. Considering he's made as many as 20 previous false reports and allegedly threatened to kill his grandmother at one point, hopefully he gets the upper end of that range.

        Someone's tyre blowing out and making them crash into people is involuntary.

        This idiot sent heavily armed cops to a "siege", with bullshit about the house being ready to go up in flames. The same month there was... what, four people shot dead by police in the States? (Or just the ones I heard about.) 'I had no idea he might get shot!' shouldn't cut it as a defence.

          The 'involuntary' in involuntary manslaughter relates to whether the intent to kill was present, I can understand that in lay terms it might not make as much sense. Mens rea is an essential part of criminal law, and while I hate swatting as much as anyone it's really unlikely there was any intent to kill behind it, just to disrupt.

            Maybe. With how trigger-happy cops seem to be over there, with military grade weapons, the little voice in my head just wants to yell "what the hell did he think was going to happen?"

              Exactly. All those details he added? This guy went to extreme lengths to make it sound as dangerous as possible for any cop investigating. The cop in question shouldn't have shot the unarmed victim, but I can't blame him for being jumpy as hell when he went to the scene.

            I get the reasoning, but I disagree. If you call it in as an incredibly volatile and violent hostage situation, you're intending for the situation to be handled in the most extreme way possible. The call was clearly tailored to put cops on maximum edge, as most likely to result in death as possible. Every effort he could've made to be believable and make the situation as fatal as possible he seems to have made.

              I'd be interested to see the result of a case tried that way, but I don't honestly think it'd meet the legal burden for intent. I'm guessing neither does the DA or they'd probably be pushing hard for it - the US legal system really hates swatting at the moment.

                Yeah, they push for what they can win... but it seems very, very wrong.

        Dam! Didn't know all that info. Considering one person is dead, the victims family/friends and the police officer/his family severely impacted...4 years just doesn't feel like it cuts the mustard, 11 years would be starting to scratch the surface

        Bullshit he didn't intend the guy to die. He didn't just notify the police that there was something going on at the address, he deliberately outlined a deadly knife-edge scenario calculated to ensure the police would be ready to shoot to kill at the slightest hint of a provocation. He WANTED them to shoot somebody. He should be charged with murder.

          He described a scenario sufficient to get a special response team instead of a normal police response. There's no indication he wanted anyone to die, swatting hasn't really done that until this occasion.

    The asshole who taunted & urged one of them todo it resulting in this fk head swatting, Gets of with nothing despite knowingly giving them someone else's address, That would play on my consciousness.

    Destroy him. Swatting desperately needs examples made out of the swatters.

    They will probably make him an example, three to five years parole in one. Then there will be a appeal by the family and it might get increased.

    It's interesting that it's the police who acted on his (false) information, but he's being charged and not the police themselves. They're the ones who pulled the trigger.

      The problem is that in the states when someone calls in a hostage situation police have to respond as if lives are on the line. They are not going to stroll in knock on the door and say “good afternoon sir, you wouldn’t by any chance be holding hostages would you?”

      Yeah, the cop shoots the guy without even trying anything and he gets a paid holiday. The swatter should have the book throne at him but the cop should be charged as well.

        That's an exceptionally poor take on the situation; rtfm before commenting.

          "28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was shot and killed by an officer when he answered the door. That officer is now on paid administrative leave." How is that a poor take on the situation, your saying the officer should of just shot first and asked questions later?

            The imputation is the officer is being rewarded for doing a poor job. The former is untrue and the latter will be determined by an investigation - the reason for paid administrative leave. I think it's a poor take because the inflection and focus are bullshit.

            Some dickhead fucked up a lot of lives with his stupid and reckless actions, including the lives of the officer and his community. However you personally reconcile the situation, whether you think the officer acting within a culture of violence should be given leniency for their response to an ostensibly violent and horrendous call-out or you prefer the moral absolute that gun violence is untenable in a society, it's worth acknowledging that the officer is also a victim of this circumstance.

        Your comment is highly ignorant.

        Try watching the body cam footage so you dont look like a simpleton.

        The officer in question who shot was off to the side and saw the victim reaching for his belt leading to this officer believing he was reaching for a weapon to kill his fellow officers.

        What you expect him to just sit there and potentially let someone attempt to kill his fellow officers?

        From 2000 to 2014 there were 2445 US police officers killed in the line of duty, I can't find data on injuries, e.g. shot and survived. You go to a hostage situation and some one looks like they're pulling a gun, odds would be they actually are.
        This is a way more complex situation than just itchy trigger figure. Involving all aspects from call centre information gathering to training and tactics used.
        With the high rate of deaths of US police they are trained for self preservation first and the media although so fond of giving information and articles on civilian deaths leave police deaths largely unreported so a lot of people's reactions are heavily biased.

        Last edited 15/01/18 11:41 am

      The final paragraph of the linked Rolling Stone article covers exactly what you and @tichey are discussing.

      I agee, we can look at each part differently.

      This guy is getting what he rightfully deserves and should be made example of, but the police need to reassess how they operate regardless.
      Aint saying it's easy easier, it's a pretty shitty situation for most involved.

    he should be put on conspricy charges as well which is what people get charged with when they attempt/get a hitman to do the job

    Cops are quite unhinged in America, if you sic them onto someone there is always a chance they will get shot dead! Just look at all the cop killings in recent times over there, quite tragic and pathetic!

    Nobody was hurt in the swatting incident in Canada.........

    Good. Can't believe "swatting" is a thing. Maybe someone should call in before his court appearance and say he's carrying explosives.

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