×

Serial Swatter Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Tyler Barriss, the 26-year-old California man responsible for making a hoax 911 call that led to the 2017 death of a Wichita, Kan. man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday, the Associated Press reports.

An argument between two “Call of Duty” players over a $1.50 bet led to the fake call after one player asked Barriss to “swat” the other. “Swatting” is the practice of calling in fake threats to send law enforcement and emergency responders to an unsuspecting person’s home. Barriss called Wichita police and told them he’d murdered his father and was holding the rest of his family hostage. He allegedly gave police an address he thought belonged to the “Call of Duty” player he wanted to swat. But, it belonged to 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was uninvolved in the argument. Police responded to Finch’s home and shot and killed him when he answered the door. It was the first time a swatting incident resulted in someone’s death in the U.S.

The Wichita officer who shot Finch wasn’t criminally charged. The “Call of Duty” player who asked Barriss to swat his opponent, 18-year-old Casey Viner, was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to make a false report, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The other person involved in the argument, 19-year-old Shane Gaskill, was charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and wire fraud. Authorities say the pair talked about hiding their involvement in the case, and Viner wiped and factory-reset his iPhone.Finch’s family has sued the city of Witchita and the officer involved in the shooting.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Oculus Co-Founder Nate Mitchell Is Leaving Facebook

    Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is leaving Facebook 7 years after launching the first Oculus Rift headset with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Mitchell announced the move on Reddit Tuesday, calling it “bittersweet news.” Mitchell said that he would take some time off to spend with his family. And while he committed to still being involved in [...]

  • nomadic seoul

    Nomadic Expands Abroad, Opens VR Center in Seoul

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Nomadic is getting ready for an international expansion: The company will open its first VR center outside of the States in South Korea later this month. The new location, housed in the CGV Gangbyeon multiplex in Seoul, is being opened in partnership with theater chain CGV and technology provider CJ [...]

  • Singularity 6 - Anthony Leung and

    ‘Meaningful’ Games Start-Up Singularity 6 Raises $16.5 Million Round Led by Andreessen Horowitz

    Singularity 6, the start-up founded by ex-Riot Games developers that’s aiming to create a community-oriented game where players “can feel like they are valued and belong,” closed $16.5 million in Series A financing. The funding round was led by venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from seed investor London Venture Partners (LVP), which previously put [...]

  • Activision Q2 2019 Results Above Expectations,

    Activision Blizzard Q2 Beats Outlook, But Not Last Year's Second Quarter

    Down may not be the new up after all: Activision Blizzard celebrated its Q2 2019 earnings as a success story Thursday, with CEO Bobby Kotick saying: “Our second quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share.” But while the results were considerably better than the company’s previous outlook for the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content