“the caller claimed his father had been shot”
Swatting is an extremely dangerous practice which entails calling 911 and pretending to be someone else while claiming that you are in a situation which requires a SWAT team. If it is done successfully, police arrive at the home of the unsuspecting target with guns drawn.
In this case, a California man sent a SWAT team to the home of a 28 year old father of two in Wichita who was fatally shot by police.
Benjamin Brown reports at FOX News:
Man arrested in ‘Call of Duty’ ‘swatting’ hoax that led to fatal police shooting
A 25-year-old California man was arrested in connection to an online quarrel between two “Call of Duty” gamers that prompted a hoax call and led to a man being killed by police in Kansas.
Los Angeles police on Friday arrested Tyler Barriss, who law enforcement claimed is the “prankster” who called 911 and made up a story about a kidnapping in Wichita, ABC 7 reported.
Barriss reportedly gave police the address he believed the other gamer lived.
In the audio of the 911 call, the caller claimed his father had been shot in the head and that he was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint. The caller added that he poured gasoline inside the home and “might just set it on fire.”
The address was for the home of Andrew Finch, 28, whom police believed was not involved in any argument on “Call of Duty.”
Here’s a video report:
Here’s a photo of the suspect:
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 31, 2017
Swatting is nothing new. In 2011, conservative blogger Patterico was a target:
At 12:35 a.m. on July 1, 2011, sheriff’s deputies pounded on my front door and rang my doorbell. They shouted for me to open the door and come out with my hands up.
When I opened the door, deputies pointed guns at me and ordered me to put my hands in the air. I had a cell phone in my hand. Fortunately, they did not mistake it for a gun.
They ordered me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. They handcuffed me. They shouted questions at me: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE? and WHERE ARE THEY? and ARE THEY ALIVE?
I told them: Yes, my wife and my children are in the house. They’re upstairs in their bedrooms, sleeping. Of course they’re alive.
Deputies led me down the street to a patrol car parked about 2-3 houses away. At least one neighbor was watching out of her window as I was placed, handcuffed, in the back of the patrol car. I saw numerous patrol cars on my quiet street. There was a police helicopter flying overhead, shining a spotlight down on us as I walked towards the patrol car. Several neighbors later told us the helicopter woke them up. I saw a fire engine and an ambulance. A neighbor later told me they had a HazMat vehicle out on the street as well.
He has posted an update here.
In 2012, conservative commentator Erick Erickson was also a swatting target, Mediaite reported:
On Friday, CNN’s Don Lemon spoke with conservative blogger Erick Erickson about “swatting,” or making it appear as if another, targeted person is making fraudulent 911 calls. And, as Lemon warned viewers, the results could be fatal…
Erickson told Lemon he is targeted all the time, but this marks the first time his wife and child are included in someone’s attack. “It’s surreal to hear someone calmly pretend to be me saying they’ve shot my wife and they’re going to shoot someone else,” he shared. Lemon agreed, adding that the call upset him, too.
As it turns out, Erickson continued, one of the officers who arrived at the scene that night recognized him from CNN, and inquired about an “accidental shooting.” Another officer kept his distance, holding his hand over his gun while Erickson’s three-year-old stood nearby. Other officers had the house surrounded.
Some news outlets are calling swatting a prank. It’s not a prank. It’s a malicious act which is done with the full knowledge that the target could be killed.
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