Los Angeles Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Deadly Wichita ‘Swatting’

Los Angeles News
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Friday in a case of “swatting” that led to the death of an innocent man.

Tyler Raj Barriss, 25, was arrested in Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 2017, in connection with a “swatting” incident in Wichita, Kansas, that led to the police shooting death of a man. (Los Angeles Police Department)

Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty to causing a deadly swatting incident in Wichita, Kan. On Dec. 28, 2017. For pleading guilty to one count of making a false report resulting in a death, one count of cyberstalking and one count of conspiracy, Barriss agreed to accept a sentence of 20 to 25 years.

His sentence of 20 years in federal prison is believed to be the longest imposed for swatting or hoaxes.

Investigators believe Barriss made the hoax call after a video game dispute. “Swatting” at the time had become a nuisance for Southern California law enforcement agencies, who would send a large emergency response in response to 911 calls purportedly made from celebrity homes.

The call Barriss admitted to making led Wichita police to surround a home, believing a man was inside who had killed his own father and was holding family members hostage. Andrew Finch, 28, came outside to face police and knew nothing about the swatting call.

When Finch unexpectedly dropped his hands, he was shot and killed by a police officer.

Barriss also pleaded to several counts of making hoax bomb threats to the headquarters of the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. and calling in fake bomb reports to schools in more than a dozen states across the country. Two more co-defendants in connection with the Wichita case are awaiting trial.

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