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'Swatting' suspect charged with involuntary manslaughter in Kansas police shooting

Nichole Manna, The Wichita Eagle on

Published in News & Features

WICHITA, Kan. -- The man accused of making a false report to Wichita police that ended in an officer fatally shooting a 28-year-old man was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reporting a false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer in his first court appearance in Wichita.

His bond was set at $500,000.

Tyler Barriss, 25, was arrested in South Los Angeles on Dec. 29, less than 24 hours after he called Wichita police claiming there was a homicide and hostage situation there. Barriss was in Los Angeles when he made the call, and a man inside the home -- identified by his family as Andrew Finch -- opened his door to see why police were outside and was shot by an officer who was in a driveway across the street.

Barriss waived extradition to Kansas last week. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Thursday afternoon.

Reports say Barriss was called by someone after a feud between two "Call of Duty" players broke out over a virtual "friendly kill" during a game on Dec. 28. There was a $1.50 wager over the game.

One of the players allegedly called Barriss and requested he "swat" another player. A man claiming he was responsible for the swatting said he was given an address by another player, he said during an interview with the DramaAlert channel on YouTube.

Swatting is the term when someone calls police with a fake story of a serious ongoing crime -- like a killing, hostage situation or bomb threat -- in an effort to draw a large police presence to an address. It has gained traction in recent years among online gamers.

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Police went to the address, expecting to find a homicide victim and two hostages. Instead Finch opened his front door when he saw police lights outside and didn't know why. Wichita police say he was given commands to keep his hands raised, but he reached toward his waistline multiple times, police have said.

When he reached his hands up suddenly, police say an officer who was standing in a driveway across the street from Finch shot him. The shooting is still under investigation, police said.

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