The plea in the case involving a swatting prank that spawned from a Call of Duty altercation has been submitted by the prankster, Tyler Barriss. Said prank ended up costing a man his life, and now that the guilty plea is in the sentencing will begin.
GamesIndustry.biz published an update on the situation involving Barriss, the 25-year-old from California, who pleaded guilty to the swatting prank that resulted in a SWAT member arriving at the residence of Andrew Finch, and shooting him when he stepped out onto the front porch after the dispatch informed SWAT that a member of the residence had killed someone and was holding two other individuals hostage while threatening to set the house on fire.
Barriss will be sentenced following the guilty plea starting January 30th, 2019.
This all started back in late 2017 on December 28th, when Barriss and several others playing Call of Duty: WW2 got involved in a dispute over a $1.50 bet. The argument began to consistently escalate to the point where one of the individuals involved in the dispute, Shane Gaskill, dared the person he was arguing with, Casey Viner, to send a SWAT team to his house address. This is typically known as "swatting."
Viner then went to Tyler Barriss and reportedly goaded him to swat Shane Gaskill. However, Gaskill gave the two an address to his former residence, which was in Kansas. When Barriss proceeded to call 911 and pretend that he had killed his father and was holding his mother and younger sibling hostage with a pistol, while also threatening to pour gasoline around the house and set it on fire, the dispatch responded by having SWAT go out to the residence. According to the bodycam footage that was released, the SWAT member asked for Andrew Finch to step out with his hands up, and upon stepping out onto the porch the SWAT member fired at Finch, killing him.
According to the police report, it was stated that Finch refused to comply with the demands to keep his hands in the air and that the SWAT team member fired after it looked like Finch was reaching for what they believed to be a gun.
As noted in the GamesIndustry.biz report, Andrew Finch had nothing to do with the dispute between Gaskill, Viner, and Barriss, and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Attorney Stephen McAllister called Barriss' reasons "trivial" and noted that the prank created a "chaotic" situation that ended up turning deadly for Andrew Finch, who left behind a wife and young kids.
Swatting really became a huge thing in recent years, where people looking to get back at other people would call 911 and describe highly dangerous situations that would see SWAT members coming out to the location armed and ready. There have been a number of Twitch streamers who have been swatted live on stream, as well as caused a lot of grief to others who were caught up in such situations.
This has so far been one of the more high profile cases due to a death being involved. Barriss was responsible for 46 other false bomb threats issued all over the United States, as well, so those are expected to be accounted for during the sentencing in January.