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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.

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