Just yesterday, a 28 year old father of two from Wichita, Kansas was killed following a Swatting incident – a “prank” where police are tricked into sending a SWAT unit in on someone – that stemmed from a quarrel involving Activision’s first-person shooter Call of Duty: WW2. Now, the Los Angeles Police Department has officially confirmed that they have arrested a man in the South L.A. area in connection with the aforementioned Swatting event.
The LAPD has apprehended 25 year old Tyler Barriss, as he has been taken in regarding making a hoax phone call to police in Kansas, resulting in an unsuspecting man’s death. The call was made with a completely fabricated story that someone had been shot in the head and was holding a family hostage. When the authorities responded, SWAT raided the home, shooting and killing Andrew Finch, the man who opened the door.
The chain of events leading up to Finch’s death are still somewhat murky, but it seems as if began with gaming teammates arguing after losing a real money wager match in Call of Duty: WW2, with them eventually threatening each other with Swatting. An incorrect address was then supplied to police, and Andrew Finch, who had nothing to do with the bet at all, was shot and killed by authorities after answering his door.
Taking all of this into account, while the police have made an arrest for this specific instance of Swatting, and are presumably looking into the case further to do right by Finch and his loved ones, it’s a shame that such a situation even had to occur in the first place. Most, if not all of our actions in this world have some sort of tangible outcome, so it should be obvious that sending a battalion of armed officers to someone’s location over a video game bet isn’t going to work out okay. If anything, though, one can only hope this latest incident makes it clearer than ever before that Swatting is a serious crime with the potential for horrifying, if not fatal consequences.