An innocent father of two was killed after a prank known as “swatting.”
Swatting is quite literally the summoning of the SWAT team. It’s defined as the “action of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”
This is often a “prank” that happens in online gaming when a player gets into a dispute with another player, and is then able to find out their address.
That is exactly what happened when Tyler Barriss, 25, got into an argument online. He called the police and gave what he thought was the address of the other player.
Barriss told the police there was a grisly hostage scene and that the SWAT team was needed ASAP. He said that the father of the house had been shot in the head and that the mother and children were being held by gunpoint.
Only, he gave them the wrong address in his “report.”
According to NBC News and the Associated Press, the hoax 911 call was part of a pranking trend called “swatting” and cost a man his life.
The address Barriss gave belonged to 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was not involved in the dispute at all. Officers, who were going off Barriss’s alleged claim, surrounded the home to prepare for what they believed to be a hostage situation.
The moment that Finch opened the door when police showed up, he was ordered to put his hands up. However, he allegedly moved his hand towards his waist and was shot. He died just minutes after being rushed to the hospital.
Police Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said that the prankster was “irresponsible” and then said, “The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department. Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim. If the false police call had not been made, we would not have been there.”
The officer who shot Finch is a seven-year veteran of the force and has been placed on paid leave while an investigation is conducted.
“What gives the cops the right to open fire?” Andrew Finch’s mom, Lisa Finch, asked during an interview with reporters at her home, the AP and NBC reported. “That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”
According to Fox News, Barriss was arrested Friday. Finch leaves behind two kids, who are 2 and 7.
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