25-year-old California man Tyler Barriss faces 20-25 years in prison after pleading guilty to making a false report that led to the death of a man in Kansas and other crimes.
Barriss is one of three men, alongside Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, who were charged over the incident that took place in December last year after an online argument erupted through playing Call of Duty: WWII, leading to Andrew Finch in Wichita being shot dead as police responded to the call. While Barriss has pled guilty to filing a false report, as well as making bomb threats throughout the US and Canada, he will face trial for involuntary manslaughter against Finch on 7th January. Viner and Gaskill have pled guilty and will face trial on 8th January.
Swatting has become a notorious way for people to retaliate or antagonise people online, in particular when competitive online multiplayer or game streaming is involved. It hinges on knowing the location of the target and then placing a false call to emergency services, convincing them of a dire situation at the address and getting them to send a police response. It’s naturally very difficult for the police to filter out such fake reports, but police forces are starting to put in place mechanisms to try and cope.