Tyler Barriss, who you’ll recall was a Call of Duty SWATer responsible for the death of a Kansas man last December, is facing the consequences of his “prank” in the form of a potential 20-year prison sentence.
Barriss, whose SWAT call got 28-year-old Andrew Finch killed by a police officer in Wichita, Kansas, has pleaded guilty to not only that incident but other swatting calls and bomb threats. Targets of his phone-based rampage included the FBI headquarters, the FCC, 16 different states in the US, and Canada.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren offered to give Barriss a 20 year prison sentence if he directly apologized to the Finch family. There could be concern about how earnest said apology ends up being, as Barriss took advantage of an improperly installed update to a kiosk from jail that let him post several bragging tweets, including a threat to SWAT again and claims that he was “an eGod” and had “swag” in prison.
The two other men involved in the Kansas death – Shane Gaskill and Casey Viner – are also facing charges.
Barriss’ sentencing is set for January 20.
Clearly, Mr. Barriss is without a sense of empathy or moral compass, so we’re extremely skeptical that any apology from his mouth would actually carry a grain of truth. It’s unfortunate it has come to this point, but we sincerely hope that a truly stiff prison sentence will deter others from performing the same “prank.”
We’ve had the misfortune to report on several swatting incidents over the course of the past few years, and the ever-increasing connectivity of the world seems to be steaming further ahead than efforts by law enforcement to keep pace. However, a new anti-swatting initiative by the Seattle Police Department is looking to change that and hopefully reduce needless injury or worse.
The new system is similar to Seattle’s existing SMART 911 system, which lets residents register information about their living situations like allergies or other medical conditions to keep first responders informed. This new system, known as Rave Facility, lets people register their household in a database as a potential “swatting concern” location. All information collected is kept confidential.
What this does is provide additional information that dispatch relays to police. Seattle PD will still head to an emergency call, but will also bear the Rave Facility registration in mind when coordinating their response.
The new system is currently only available to residents of Seattle, but should this new measure work, we can perhaps expect other US cities to implement a similar feature. If you happen to live in the Seattle area, additional information on how to join the Rave Facility database can be read here.
Assuming that the officers receive additional training regarding these new measures, this database could absolutely be invaluable to protecting innocent people. We hope that this Rave Facility measure works out and that other locations in the US implement a similar system.
It’s been a series of highs and lows for a 12-year-old Fortnite player. Peter “Rolly Ranchers” Varady went from a newly-rising caster of the game’s battle royale mode on YouTube and Twitch to a victim of swatting, though mercifully his encounter with the police did not end in bloodshed.
Varady had a chance encounter with one Cizzorz, a YouTuber with over 800k subscribers to his channel as of this writing, during a Duos match. After playing together, Cizzorz encouraged his fans to check out Varady’s content, which saw his numbers skyrocket and hundreds of dollars donated to him.
Unfortunately, the increased attention drew in at least one particularly vile excuse for human life, as Varady became the target of a swatter during a stream on Sunday. Varady tearfully ended the stream, which he later described in a separate interview as “the scariest moment of my life”.
Cizzorz, understandably, was upset. “I was just told that someone Swatted him tonight on his livestream. I feel so awful,” he wrote on Twitter. “The kid is only 12 years old. I hope whoever did it, rots in a cell.”
According to ABC News 7 in Los Angeles, the LAPD are investigating the incident and are tracking down the swatter, who has threatened to do the same to someone else.
Maybe it will take someone’s house being blown up hard enough to be seen from ISS orbit to have something done against swatters, but considering the state of current events, that seems highly unlikely. Regardless, we’re going to look on the bright side that Varady and his family was not hurt, and we wish the LAPD luck in tracking down whatever bottom-feeder decided to pull this “prank”.
It’s a headline that we all knew we would see one day, Man Dies in Swatting. Sadly, the time has come. Andrew Finch, aged 28 was shot by police officers answering the door to the Swat team at his door on December 28th.
According to police, they were answering a call that said there was a hostage situation on the Witchita block that Finch lived on. As Finch came to the door an officer fired. Police say it isn’t clear yet why the officer fired his weapon. His family who were at the home at the time, however, has said that he wasn’t carrying any weapons.
On Twitter, an account which has now been suspended sent out a tweet saying “That kids house that I swatted is on the news.” This tweet is reportedly coming from one side of an argument about Call of Duty. According to Dexerto, the argument was over a $2 wager. The person on the other side of the argument had given a fake address, which is how police ended up at Finch’s house. Finch himself wasn’t a gamer.
On Twitter, more than a dozen people who identified themselves as CoD players contacted The Wichita Eagle letting them know about the feud. Overnight the Twitter account who claimed to have made the call was suspended. But before the suspension took place they had this to say.
The Twitter account of the intended target has also been taken offline.
The police officer who fired the shot is a 7 year veteran of the police department. They have been placed on administrative paid leave, which is the department’s policy. The investigation into the swatting is ongoing and it is expected that more information will be released by the police later today.
Andrew Finch leaves behind two children, ages 2 and 7.