Alleged caller in the first swatting death now faces 46 new charges
Almost a year ago, 28-year-old Andrew Finch was shot and killed by police responding to a false report about a hostage situation at a local home. This is believed to be the first death related to swatting, but it’s not the only time that Tyler Barriss – who allegedly made the call – has faced charges for making false reports. Now Barriss faces 46 additional charges.
Federal prosecutors in the Central District of California have levied these these charges against Barriss, and the bulk of these alleged crimes took place at the end of 2017. That’s right after Barriss was released from Los Angeles County Jail, having served two years there after pleading no contest to making a bomb threat.
As Wired reports, prosecutors say Barriss is guilty of making multiple other swatting calls, many at the behest of other individuals – and some at a nominal fee of $10 each. Some of the earliest charges go back to 2015, when prosecutors say Barriss phoned bomb threats in to schools across the country to get his online Halo buddies a day off from classes. Others include further swattings and bomb threats. In one case, prosecutors say Barriss impersonated an ISIS member to report a bomb threat.
Barriss was scheduled to undergo trial in Kansas for involuntary manslaughter on October 1, but that’s been delayed until January 7. Shane Gaskill and Casey Viner are co-defendants in that case – a disagreement between the two allegedly led to the call that ended up causing the death of Finch, though both have pled not guilty to the charges.
According to Wired’s report, the myriad charges brought forth by California prosecutors are likely to be rolled into the case in Kansas, and Barriss is expected to plead guilty.